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The Geography of the Knowledge Economy: Innovation, Interaction and Industrial Development.

Hansen, Teis LU (2012)
Abstract
Today, acquisition, creation and utilisation of knowledge are the key factors explaining economic development. Firms must constantly employ new knowledge and combine different types of knowledge in their activities to maintain competitiveness. This thesis examines the knowledge economy from two perspectives. The first focuses on the role of geographical proximity for interactive knowledge creation. It follows from the increasing knowledge intensity of the economy that it is highly unlikely that firms can access knowledge of a sufficient depth and variety within their own boundaries. Papers I-III in the thesis analyse the impact of geographical proximity on such collaborative processes of knowledge creation and innovation. The second... (More)
Today, acquisition, creation and utilisation of knowledge are the key factors explaining economic development. Firms must constantly employ new knowledge and combine different types of knowledge in their activities to maintain competitiveness. This thesis examines the knowledge economy from two perspectives. The first focuses on the role of geographical proximity for interactive knowledge creation. It follows from the increasing knowledge intensity of the economy that it is highly unlikely that firms can access knowledge of a sufficient depth and variety within their own boundaries. Papers I-III in the thesis analyse the impact of geographical proximity on such collaborative processes of knowledge creation and innovation. The second perspective is concerned with the development of low- and medium low-tech manufacturing industries in high-wage countries. While high-tech sectors are increasingly seen as vital to economic development, low- and medium low-tech industries maintain economic importance in high-wage countries. Papers IV-VI in the thesis examine the responses of low- and medium low-tech manufacturing industries to the challenges of the knowledge economy.

The results of the first part of the thesis highlight that geographical proximity has a significant impact on interactive knowledge creation; however, the effect of geography cannot be isolated from other forms of proximity, such as established social relationships and common institutional frameworks. In fact, it is exactly by leaving behind the narrow focus on geography, and replacing it with an approach sensitive to social, institutional, cognitive and organisational relations, that the importance of geography for interactive knowledge creation becomes evident. While the role of geographical proximity varies depending on collaboration motives, it is particularly important in collaboration projects at the core of innovation processes, where the objective is to access technologies, obtain knowledge or reduce the innovation time-span.

The main conclusion of the thesis’ second part is that low- and medium low-tech industries maintain significant economic importance in high-wage countries, contrary to the assumptions of much academic and policy work. However, the character and activities of these industries are profoundly changing. The papers highlight that they are not passively waiting to be outcompeted by firms from low-cost countries. Instead, they are actively pursuing strategies to maintain competitiveness and increase the value added of products and processes. These findings underline the importance of a broad conception of the knowledge economy, which goes beyond research intensive industries. (Less)
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author
publishing date
type
Book/Report
publication status
published
subject
pages
243 pages
publisher
Department of Geography and Geology, University of Copenhagen
language
English
LU publication?
no
id
a7265c5d-1a2d-4740-a318-f799b925077f (old id 4810691)
date added to LUP
2014-11-21 15:02:39
date last changed
2016-06-29 08:58:22
@book{a7265c5d-1a2d-4740-a318-f799b925077f,
  abstract     = {Today, acquisition, creation and utilisation of knowledge are the key factors explaining economic development. Firms must constantly employ new knowledge and combine different types of knowledge in their activities to maintain competitiveness. This thesis examines the knowledge economy from two perspectives. The first focuses on the role of geographical proximity for interactive knowledge creation. It follows from the increasing knowledge intensity of the economy that it is highly unlikely that firms can access knowledge of a sufficient depth and variety within their own boundaries. Papers I-III in the thesis analyse the impact of geographical proximity on such collaborative processes of knowledge creation and innovation. The second perspective is concerned with the development of low- and medium low-tech manufacturing industries in high-wage countries. While high-tech sectors are increasingly seen as vital to economic development, low- and medium low-tech industries maintain economic importance in high-wage countries. Papers IV-VI in the thesis examine the responses of low- and medium low-tech manufacturing industries to the challenges of the knowledge economy.<br/><br>
The results of the first part of the thesis highlight that geographical proximity has a significant impact on interactive knowledge creation; however, the effect of geography cannot be isolated from other forms of proximity, such as established social relationships and common institutional frameworks. In fact, it is exactly by leaving behind the narrow focus on geography, and replacing it with an approach sensitive to social, institutional, cognitive and organisational relations, that the importance of geography for interactive knowledge creation becomes evident. While the role of geographical proximity varies depending on collaboration motives, it is particularly important in collaboration projects at the core of innovation processes, where the objective is to access technologies, obtain knowledge or reduce the innovation time-span.<br/><br>
The main conclusion of the thesis’ second part is that low- and medium low-tech industries maintain significant economic importance in high-wage countries, contrary to the assumptions of much academic and policy work. However, the character and activities of these industries are profoundly changing. The papers highlight that they are not passively waiting to be outcompeted by firms from low-cost countries. Instead, they are actively pursuing strategies to maintain competitiveness and increase the value added of products and processes. These findings underline the importance of a broad conception of the knowledge economy, which goes beyond research intensive industries.},
  author       = {Hansen, Teis},
  language     = {eng},
  pages        = {243},
  publisher    = {Department of Geography and Geology, University of Copenhagen},
  title        = {The Geography of the Knowledge Economy: Innovation, Interaction and Industrial Development.},
  year         = {2012},
}