Social networks in the R&D process: the case of the wireless communication industry around Aalborg, Denmark

Posted: October 6th, 2005 | Filed under: Front, Journal Papers | Tags: , , | Comments Off on Social networks in the R&D process: the case of the wireless communication industry around Aalborg, Denmark

Michael S. Dahl and Christian Ø. R. Pedersen (now Christian R. Østergaard)

Whether social networks diffuse knowledge across firm boundaries has been the topic of much debate. To inform these theories, this article considers two questions. First, who has contacts across firm boundaries? And second, when do these relations diffuse knowledge? Our empirical evidence comes from a survey of 346 engineers in the wireless communication industry around Aalborg in Northern Denmark. Our analysis finds that social contact between these engineers is frequent and is used to diffuse knowledge that receivers find useful. More experienced engineers are more likely to receive valuable knowledge from their networks. These findings show that the long-term relationships, which are more likely based on trust and reputation, are also more likely to be a channel valuable knowledge.

Michael S. Dahl and Christian Ø. R. Pedersen (2005), “Social Networks in the R&D Process: The Case of the Wireless Communication Industry Around Aalborg, Denmark”, Journal of Engineering and Technology Management. Vol. 22, No. 1-2, pp. 75-92. ISSN: 0923-4748. [DOI Link]


Knowledge flows through informal contacts in industrial clusters: myth or reality?

Posted: January 6th, 2005 | Filed under: Front, Journal Papers | Tags: , , | Comments Off on Knowledge flows through informal contacts in industrial clusters: myth or reality?

Michael S. Dahl and Christian Ø. R. Pedersen (now Christian R. Østergaard)

The role of informal networks in the development of regional clusters has recently received a lot of attention in the literature. Informal contact between employees in different firms is claimed to be one of the main carriers of knowledge between firms in a cluster. This paper examines empirically the role of informal contacts in a specific cluster. In a questionnaire survey, we asked a sample of engineers in a regional cluster of wireless communication firms in Northern Denmark a series of questions on informal networks. We analyze whether the engineers actually acquire valuable knowledge through these networks. We find that the engineers do share even quite valuable knowledge with informal contacts. This shows that informal contacts represent an important channel of knowledge diffusion.

Michael S. Dahl and Christian Ø. R. Pedersen (2004), “Knowledge Flows through Informal Contacts in Industrial Clusters: Myth or Reality?”, Research Policy, Vol. 33, No. 10, pp. 1673-86. ISSN: 0048-7333. [DOI Link]


Født til Succes? Knopskydninger som kilde til innovation

Posted: October 6th, 2004 | Filed under: Front, Journal Papers | Tags: , , , , | Comments Off on Født til Succes? Knopskydninger som kilde til innovation

Michael S. Dahl

Denne artikel præsenterer den nyeste teoretiske forskning i sammenhængen mellem entreprenørers erfaringsmæssige baggrund og deres fremtidige succes og innovationsevne. En række studier tyder nemlig på, at disse faktorer er tæt forbundet i kraft af nedarvede organisatoriske rutiner, som entreprenøren har med fra sin tidligere arbejdsplads. Denne teoretiske påstand undersøges gennem et detaljeret studie af udviklingen af den trådløse kommunikationsindustri omkring Aalborg samt gennem referencer til et kvantitativt studie af 3.500 opstartsvirksomheder i den danske fremstillingssektor. Begge studier peger i retningen af, at knopskydende virksomheder med erfaringer fra gode virksomheder har større sandsynlighed for succes, samt at disse virksomheder også er mere innovative i deres første tid end andre ældre virksomheder.

Michael S. Dahl (2004), “Født til Succes? Knopskydninger som kilde til innovation [Born for Success? Spin-offs as sources of innovation]“, Ledelse & Erhvervsøkonomi, Vol. 68, No. 4, pp. 285-292. ISSN: 0902-3704. [PDF]