Nick Clifton is a senior lecturer in Regional Development, Cardiff School of Management, University of Wales Institute, Cardiff, UK. His e-mail address is: firstname.lastname@example.org. Robyn Keast is a senior lecturer, School of Management, Queensland University of Technology, Australia. David Pickernell is a professor in Economic Development Policy, Welsh Enterprise Institute, University of Glamorgan Business School, UK. Martyn Senior is a reader, School of City and Regional Planning, Cardiff University, UK. We would like to acknowledge the support of the Economic and Social Research Council in the UK for partially funding the research from which this paper is derived. We are also thankful for the insightful comments provided by the editor and by two anonymous referees on earlier versions of this paper. The usual disclaimer applies.
Network Structure, Knowledge Governance, and Firm Performance: Evidence from Innovation Networks and SMEs in the UK
Article first published online: 14 SEP 2010
© 2010 The Authors. Growth and Change © 2010 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
Growth and Change
Volume 41, Issue 3, pages 337–373, September 2010
How to Cite
CLIFTON, N., KEAST, R., PICKERNELL, D. and SENIOR, M. (2010), Network Structure, Knowledge Governance, and Firm Performance: Evidence from Innovation Networks and SMEs in the UK. Growth and Change, 41: 337–373. doi: 10.1111/j.1468-2257.2010.00529.x
- Issue published online: 14 SEP 2010
- Article first published online: 14 SEP 2010
- Submitted March 2007; revised December 2009; accepted May 2010.
It is increasingly understood that learning and thus innovation often occurs via highly interactive, iterative, network-based processes. Simultaneously, economic development policy is increasingly focused on small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) as a means of generating growth, creating a clear research issue in terms of the roles and interactions of government policy, universities, and other sources of knowledge, SMEs, and the creation and dissemination of innovation. This paper analyses the contribution of a range of actors in an SME innovation creation and dissemination framework, reviewing the role of various institutions therein, exploring the contribution of cross-locality networks, and identifying the mechanisms required to operationalise such a framework. Bivariate and multivariate (regression) techniques are employed to investigate both innovation and growth outcomes in relation to these structures; data are derived from the survey responses of over 450 SMEs in the UK. Results are complex and dependent upon the nature of institutions involved, the type of knowledge sought, and the spatial level of the linkages in place but overall highlight the value of cross-locality networks, network governance structures, and certain spillover effects from universities. In general, we find less support for the factors predicting SME growth outcomes than is the case for innovation. Finally, we outline an agenda for further research in the area.