The Elgar Companion to Innovation and Knowledge Creation
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The Elgar Companion to Innovation and Knowledge Creation

Edited by Harald Bathelt, Patrick Cohendet, Sebastian Henn and Laurent Simon

This unique Companion provides a comprehensive overview and critical evaluation of existing conceptualizations and new developments in innovation research. It draws on multiple perspectives of innovation, knowledge and creativity from economics, geography, history, management, political science and sociology. The Companion brings together leading scholars to reflect upon innovation as a concept (Part I), innovation and institutions (Part II), innovation and creativity (Part III), innovation, networking and communities (Part IV), innovation in permanent spatial settings (Part V), innovation in temporary, virtual and open settings (Part VI), innovation, entrepreneurship and market making (Part VII), and the governance and management of innovation (Part VIII).
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Chapter 39: Transnational entrepreneurs and global knowledge transfer

Sebastian Henn and Harald Bathelt

Abstract

This chapter discusses how transnational entrepreneurs contribute to the global transfer of knowledge and initiate regional development processes. Transnational entrepreneurs are conceptualized as one type of diaspora entrepreneur who, unlike other types of entrepreneurs, set up highly competitive firms that rely in their day-to-day business on dense linkages between two or more locations. Being part of families or closed ethnic communities, these entrepreneurs are capable of developing trust-based networks that allow for fast and low-cost knowledge exchanges and knowledge generation processes at a worldwide scale. This generates important competitive advantages compared to firms that do not have such linkages. By presenting case studies of self-employed migrants in high-technology industries (so-called New Argonauts) and in the diamond sector, this chapter demonstrates that transnational entrepreneurs are an important phenomenon in different countries and industries with varying knowledge intensities, and can be analyzed at different scales.

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