Purpose - The paper aims to investigate how proximity dimensions affect the establishment of different knowledge relationships between gatekeepers and other economic actors involved in their knowledge-based networks. Design/methodology/approach - The methodology is based on an inductive research approach, represented by the explorative case study of the Polytechnic University of Turin. The University's knowledge relationships are identified and distinguished through the analysis of its patent joint-developments, citations, and R&D projects. Then, for each knowledge relationship, geographical, organizational, and technological proximity between the University and the other economic actors are assessed, adopting suitable proxies. Findings - The data reveal that the University activates collaborative and exploitative relationships with actors characterized by geographical, organizational, and technological proximity. In contrast, collaborative and explorative relationships seem to require actors characterized by more distant technological competencies. Furthermore, the exchange of knowledge by means of non-collaborative relationships occurs between the University and actors characterized only by technological proximity. Research limitations/implications - On the basis of this analysis, actors can identify which proximity dimensions assume an important role for activating knowledge flows with gatekeepers. Regarding policy implications, the paper highlights how policy makers should leverage proximities in order to favour and support the exchange of knowledge, hence improving the innovative capability, competitiveness, and attractiveness of regional areas. Originality/value - This research contributes to shed further light on the nature of the relationships and knowledge flows exchanged by the gatekeepers. In particular, it analyzes how relational attributes can affect the knowledge transfer processes between economic actors.

Proximity and knowledge gatekeepers: The case of the Polytechnic University of Turin

MESSENI PETRUZZELLI, Antonio
2008

Abstract

Purpose - The paper aims to investigate how proximity dimensions affect the establishment of different knowledge relationships between gatekeepers and other economic actors involved in their knowledge-based networks. Design/methodology/approach - The methodology is based on an inductive research approach, represented by the explorative case study of the Polytechnic University of Turin. The University's knowledge relationships are identified and distinguished through the analysis of its patent joint-developments, citations, and R&D projects. Then, for each knowledge relationship, geographical, organizational, and technological proximity between the University and the other economic actors are assessed, adopting suitable proxies. Findings - The data reveal that the University activates collaborative and exploitative relationships with actors characterized by geographical, organizational, and technological proximity. In contrast, collaborative and explorative relationships seem to require actors characterized by more distant technological competencies. Furthermore, the exchange of knowledge by means of non-collaborative relationships occurs between the University and actors characterized only by technological proximity. Research limitations/implications - On the basis of this analysis, actors can identify which proximity dimensions assume an important role for activating knowledge flows with gatekeepers. Regarding policy implications, the paper highlights how policy makers should leverage proximities in order to favour and support the exchange of knowledge, hence improving the innovative capability, competitiveness, and attractiveness of regional areas. Originality/value - This research contributes to shed further light on the nature of the relationships and knowledge flows exchanged by the gatekeepers. In particular, it analyzes how relational attributes can affect the knowledge transfer processes between economic actors.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11589/57929
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