chapter  5
16 Pages

The Role of External Linkages and Gatekeepers for the Renewal and Expansion of US Cities’ Knowledge Base, 1990–2004: Stefano Breschi and Camilla Lenzi

The importance of external linkages as sources of innovation is a fertile research topic in management, innovation and regional studies. Broadly speaking, the recombination of diverse pieces of knowledge is at the heart of any knowledge creation and dynamics process (ANTONELLI, 1995; FLEMING, 2001; FLEMING and SORENSON, 2001; SAVIOTTI, 2007). Given the increasing complexity of technologies and knowledge, the creation of novel solutions relies increasingly upon the integration and recombination of different knowledge sources (BRESNAHAN et al., 2001; GITTELMAN, 2007; OWEN-SMITH and POWELL, 2004). Openness to external repositories of knowledge and embeddedness in knowledge networks reaching actors beyond local boundaries are therefore crucial and can provide some shelter to the risk of over-embeddedness, lockin to obsolete sets of technologies and decrease in the variety of technological approaches and solutions by favouring a continuous expansion and rejuvenation of the existing knowledge base (UZZI, 1996, 1997).