Spatial scale of cooperation for innovation :the role of ICT and firm location - Département sciences sociales et de gestion Access content directly
Conference Papers Year : 2016

Spatial scale of cooperation for innovation :the role of ICT and firm location


Among the multiple factors influencing firms ability to innovate, geographical factors constitute a key question, especially in terms of proximity and access to external resources (Boschma, 2005; Shearmur, 2011; Torre, 2014). A classical question in geography of innovation is to evaluate the impact of agglomeration on firm's innovativeness, with the idea that knowledge spillovers have a positive impact on the capacity to innovate and to adopt innovations (Audretsch and Feldman, 2003, Feldman and Kogler, 2010). However, Massard and Torre (2004) suggest that most of the papers dealing with this question suffer an important limitation: they do not investigate the way knowledge is transmitted between firms located near each other and the way firms mobilized the resources available in their spatial environment. In this context, we aim to investigate the way SMEs mobilize local and distant resources in order to innovate. Two types of resources are investigated: sources of idea and cooperation for innovation. In particular, we are interested in determining if the location of the firm and its use of ICT affect the way it local and distant resources are employed. In order to better understand the role of SMEs location in the innovation and cooperation process, our research investigates SMEs' behavior in a quantitative and qualitative manner. The research method consists in a two steps method (Venkatesh et al. 2010). First, we build a typology that allows identifying the diversity of innovation practices and contexts among a large number of SMEs. Second, we investigate several firms for each group of the typology. The aim of this second step is to understand collaboration and ICT use in a process view and to identify emergent factors affecting innovation. Data used for the quantitative approach are taken from a survey carried out in early 2015 by the Marsouin Group. The survey, conducted in the region of Brittany (France) on a representative sample of firms from 10 to 250 employees, informs us on their innovativeness and their use of ICT. Data from 730 innovative firms are used in the research. The typology is built on the following characteristics: the type of innovation (product or process innovation); SMEs location (different measures of the territory are investigated); the innovation's sources of ideas and their scale of location; the innovation's stakeholders and their scale of location; ICT use to accompany innovation and more generally ICT appropriation in the firm. In each quantitatively identified group of SMEs, we carry out a qualitative investigation (3 to 5 firms from each group). Each case study relies on secondary data (formal and communication documents collected) and on interviews that focus on the motivation of the firm in their mobilization of resources for innovation. As the investigations are still ongoing, we will present the results in the full paper of Geography of Innovation conference.
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hal-01289079 , version 1 (17-07-2018)


  • HAL Id : hal-01289079 , version 1


Sébastien Le Gall, François Deltour, Virginie Lethiais. Spatial scale of cooperation for innovation :the role of ICT and firm location. Geography of Innovation 2016 : 3rd international conference, Jan 2016, Toulouse, France. ⟨hal-01289079⟩
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