Clusters and Knowledge: Local Buzz, Global Pipelines and the Process of Knowledge Creation

The paper is concerned with spatial clustering of economic activity and its relation to the spatiality of knowledge creation in various sorts of interactive learning processes. It questions the merit of the prevailing explanatory model where the realm of tacit knowledge transfer is confined to local milieus whereas codified knowledge may roam the globe almost frictionless. When doing so the paper highlights the conditions under which both tacit and codified knowledge can be exchanged locally and globally. A distinction is made between, on the one hand, the learning processes taking place among actors embedded in a community by just being there - dubbed buzz - and, on the other, the knowledge attained by investing in building channels of communication - called pipelines - to selected providers located outside the local milieu. It is argued, that the co-existence of high levels of buzz and many pipelines may provide firms located in outward looking and lively clusters with a string of particular advantages not available to outsiders. Finally, some prescriptive elements, stemming from the argument, are identified.


From Working paper, published on 31-12-2002
Original document URL: http://www.druid.dk/wp/pdf_files/02-12.pdf

Authors

  • Bathelt, H. Malmberg, A., and Maskell, P

Objects

  • Innovation research

Keywords

  • Networks and clusters
  • technology and knowledge transfer

back to top