Innovation Networks in Industries
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Innovation Networks in Industries

Edited by Franco Malerba and Nicholas S. Vonortas

Innovation Networks in Industries provides an extensive study in the fields of industry structure, firm strategy and public policy through the use of network concepts and indicators. It also elucidates many of the complexities and challenges involved.
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Chapter 6: Partnership Networks and Knowledge Networks in Five Sectors

Koichiro Okamura and Nicholas S. Vonortas

Extract

6. Partnership networks and knowledge networks in five sectors1 Koichiro Okamura and Nicholas S. Vonortas INTRODUCTION 1. Industry analysis has been a field of rich study in economics. Two strands of literature can be distinguished here. One is rooted in the formal industrial organization tradition and has concentrated on the study of sectoral characteristics, including sectoral structure in terms of concentration, vertical integration, diversification; the dynamics of sectors in terms of technical progress, entry, firm growth, and so on; and strategic behavior (e.g. Caves, 1998; Scherer and Ross, 1990). This literature comes closest to the subject at hand in the theory of the firm, especially the development of the concepts of incomplete contracting which underlies a lot of the issues in partnership organization.2 The analyses in this approach have, however, paid scant attention to knowledge and learning processes, institutional factors, the wide range of interactions among agents, and the transformation of sectors in terms of their boundaries, agents, and products. The second strand of economic-based, industry analysis literature provides rich empirical evidence on the characteristics of sectors, on their technologies, production features, innovation, demand, and on the type and degree of change. In recent years, significant efforts have been undertaken internationally to provide a multidimensional, integrated and dynamic view of sectors, combining important elements from both analytical traditions described above in order to advance the concept of sectoral systems of innovation and production (Malerba, 2004). The basic analytical foundations underlying this work follow the traditions in evolutionary theory (Dosi, 1988;...

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