Inter-firm networks and innovation: a survey of literature

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This survey covers the recent literature on inter-firm networks as far as they have implications for innovation and technological change. The studies are classified according to the direction of causality in network studies. In the literature, some studies focus on the effect of networks, while others on the origins and formation of networks. These are represented as a circular flow diagram of network research. Circular diagram includes three themes of analysis as: (1) origins of networks, (2) firm performance, (3) network structure, and shows the relationship between these themes as observed in network research. The aim of this survey is to guide researchers working on inter-firm networks about the theoretical and empirical results obtained up to now in the field and to highlight those areas which need further work.

Keywords: innovation; inter-firm networks; networks; survey

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: Bureau d'Economie Theorique and Appliquee (BETA), Universite Louis Pasteur, Strasbourg, France

Publication date: January 1, 2009

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