Title: Innovation, proximity, and knowledge gatekeepers - is proximity a necessity for learning and innovation?

Authors: Deogratias Harorimana; Mathias Harebamungu

Addresses: Graduate School of Business, Faculty of Business and Economics, University of the South Pacific, Private Bag, Laucala Campus, Suva, Fiji ' Ministry of Education, Kacyiru, City of Kigali, P.O. Box 622 Kigali, Rwanda

Abstract: Organisational desire for innovation and growth can be best achieved when they are in proximity. Geographical or technological proximity represent network structure in which a focal organisation is embedded, which has structural, cognitive and relational dimensions. Proximity influences innovation indirectly by its influence on agents' ability to exchange and combine knowledge in four related ways: by giving access to exchange partners that provide opportunities for learning, increasing the anticipation of value, increasing the motivation to exchange, and by giving access to resources necessary for committing exchanges.

Keywords: learning; innovation; technological gatekeepers; firm strategy; competitiveness; firm growth; knowledge gatekeepers; value; motivation; knowledge exchange; geographical proximity; technological proximity; network structure.

DOI: 10.1504/IJIL.2013.055523

International Journal of Innovation and Learning, 2013 Vol.14 No.2, pp.177 - 196

Available online: 31 Jul 2013 *

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