Title: Structural characteristics of knowledge exchange in innovation networks

Authors: Michael Rothgang; Bernhard Lageman

Addresses: RWI Leibniz Institute for Economic Research, Hohenzollernstr. 1-3, 45128 Essen, Germany ' RWI Leibniz Institute for Economic Research, Hohenzollernstr. 1-3, 45128 Essen, Germany

Abstract: While there is a large pool of assured knowledge about various general dimensions of the structure and dynamics of innovation networks, several basic structural features deserve more attention in future research on network effects. Our contribution concentrates on three key structural characteristics: i) the type of actors; ii) contexts and (inter-) organisational environments of networks; iii) modes and contents of knowledge exchange. We discuss the role of these structural characteristics by using research material from an accompanying evaluation of the German 'Leading-Edge Clusters Competition'. Major results are: Innovation network actors are rather heterogeneous entities, stretching from highly complex organisations to single individuals. Networks are embedded in different sectoral, organisational and situational contexts. In many cases, even defining the boundaries of the relevant network is a challenge for innovation researchers. Knowledge exchange flows through different channels, and can be seen as a context-dependent combination of formal and tacit elements.

Keywords: innovation networks; knowledge exchange; cluster organisation; cluster policy; cluster initiative; network actors; leading-edge clusters competition.

DOI: 10.1504/IJCEE.2018.10017756

International Journal of Computational Economics and Econometrics, 2018 Vol.8 No.3/4, pp.280 - 300

Accepted: 09 Jan 2018
Published online: 27 Nov 2018 *

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