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Weak and strong ties, individualism-collectivism, and the diffusion of technological knowledge


Keil, Thomas; Robertson, Paul; Autio, Erkko (2003). Weak and strong ties, individualism-collectivism, and the diffusion of technological knowledge. In: Gibson, David V; Stolp, Chandler; Conceição, Pedro; Heitor, Manuel V. Systems and Policies for the Global Learning Economy. Santa Barbara, CA: Praeger, 275-305.

Abstract

Despite the importance of gathering technological knowledge from external sources, many firms are not well-placed to collect information from beyond their own boundaries. Government policies designed to improve access to technological knowledge often encourage firms to develop strong ties with competitors, suppliers or customers. But although strong ties are valuable, especially when tacit knowledge needs to be communicated, firms in individualistic cultures may resist entering into close relationships with other firms. As a result, policies that encourage such firms to form weak ties may be a more effective way of promoting the spread of technological knowledge in individualistic cultures. In this paper, we develop a set of propositions concerning the suitability of strong and weak ties in cultures that are relatively more individualistic or collectivist. Our arguments are illustrated with survey data from Australia and Finland. In the final section, we make some policy recommendations for improving the diffusion of technological knowledge among firms in individualist cultures.

Abstract

Despite the importance of gathering technological knowledge from external sources, many firms are not well-placed to collect information from beyond their own boundaries. Government policies designed to improve access to technological knowledge often encourage firms to develop strong ties with competitors, suppliers or customers. But although strong ties are valuable, especially when tacit knowledge needs to be communicated, firms in individualistic cultures may resist entering into close relationships with other firms. As a result, policies that encourage such firms to form weak ties may be a more effective way of promoting the spread of technological knowledge in individualistic cultures. In this paper, we develop a set of propositions concerning the suitability of strong and weak ties in cultures that are relatively more individualistic or collectivist. Our arguments are illustrated with survey data from Australia and Finland. In the final section, we make some policy recommendations for improving the diffusion of technological knowledge among firms in individualist cultures.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Book Section, not refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:03 Faculty of Economics > Department of Business Administration
Dewey Decimal Classification:330 Economics
Language:English
Date:2003
Deposited On:23 Jul 2013 06:50
Last Modified:07 Dec 2017 21:43
Publisher:Praeger
Series Name:International Series on Technology Policy and Innovation
Number:3
ISSN:1528-1698
ISBN:978-1-5672-0476-6
Related URLs:http://www.recherche-portal.ch/zbz/action/display.do?fn=display&vid=ZAD&doc=ebi01_prod004665975 (Library Catalogue)
Other Identification Number:merlin-id:8274

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