The Importance of Geographical Proximity for New Product Development Activities within Inter-firm Linkages: An Empirical Test

Henrich Dahlgren

    Research output: Working paperResearch

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    This paper takes an economic approach to investigate the role of geographical proximity for organizing new product development (NPD) activities within inter-firm linkages. Product development theory and the resource-based view is discussed from an inter-firm perspective and contrasted to arguments in the literature on geographical economics. The approach in this paper assumes that geographical proximity is crucial for inter-firm learning, knowledge transfer and creation of capabilities to a higher extent in inter-firm linkages with a high level of interaction, in industries where knowledge is relatively more important as a resource and where collaboration partners are important. Hypotheses are tested by means of a quantitative analysis of a data set containing information about 4842 domestic and international inter-firm linkages of Danish firms in manufacturing industries. The findings in this analysis exhibit low support for the general role of geographical proximity for organizing NPD activities within inter-firm linkages. The result suggests that geographical proximity seems to play a role in inter-firm linkages in few cases. For instance, it is shown that knowledge intensive firms exhibit a propensity for international linkages. It is further suggested closer geographical distance for inter-firm linkages with medium and high level of interaction, suppliers or customers accounting for more than one third of total purchases or sales, and for linkages lasting for at least 10 years.
    Original languageEnglish
    Place of PublicationCopenhagen
    PublisherLOK Research Center. CBS
    Number of pages25
    ISBN (Print)8791181879
    Publication statusPublished - 2005
    SeriesLOK Working Paper


    • Capabilities
    • Economics of localization
    • Innovation
    • Inter-firm linkages
    • Knowledge
    • Product development
    • Proximity
    • Resources

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