Knowledge Transfer and Technology Diffusion
Show Less

Knowledge Transfer and Technology Diffusion

Edited by Paul L. Robertson and David Jacobson

This important book is about the origins and diffusion of innovation, in theory and in practice. The practice draws on a variety of industries, from electronics to eyewear, from furniture to mechatronics, in a range of economies including Europe, the USA and China.
Buy Book in Print
Show Summary Details
You do not have access to this content

Chapter 7: Innovation and External Knowledge Sources in Industrial Districts: Evidence from an Italian Furniture Cluster

Andrea Morrison


Andrea Morrison INTRODUCTION: INNOVATION IN LOW-TECH SECTORS 1. This chapter investigates the relationships between sources of knowledge – in particular external sources – and the innovative performance of firms. Scholars and policy makers agree that knowledge has become a critical asset for securing competitive advantage for firms and regions. However, the empirical focus has generally been on high-tech sectors and firms. The underlying reasons for this concentration are that high-tech sectors generate higher profits than traditional ones, and that their products cannot be easily imitated. Moreover it is claimed that these sectors can bolster growth in other manufacturing industries and generate significant positive externalities, in particular in terms of technological spillovers. These arguments also imply that wherever high-tech sectors do not emerge spontaneously, public policy should intervene to facilitate their take-off. Indeed, policy measures designed to augment the knowledge content of economic activities and to promote sectors such as ICT and biotechnology have flourished at regional, national and supranational levels. Although we share the view that knowledge is a key factor sustaining firm competitiveness, and more widely, increasing the prosperity of regions and nations, we are sceptical about the often implicit assumption in this argument, which identifies knowledge intensity with high-technology and science. We maintain that low-tech sectors are in many respects just as knowledge-intensive as high-tech ones. The view that knowledge intensity equals high-technology in fact resembles the much-criticized linear model of innovation (Rosenberg, 1982), which describes innovation as a unidirectional process in which basic research is the crucial starting point...

You are not authenticated to view the full text of this chapter or article.

Elgaronline requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books or journals. Please login through your library system or with your personal username and password on the homepage.

Non-subscribers can freely search the site, view abstracts/ extracts and download selected front matter and introductory chapters for personal use.

Your library may not have purchased all subject areas. If you are authenticated and think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

Further information

or login to access all content.