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Social networks and competitive growth of university spin-off firms: a tale of two contrasting cities

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<mark>Journal publication date</mark>04/2009
<mark>Journal</mark>Tijdschrift voor economische en sociale geografie
Issue number2
Volume100
Number of pages12
Pages (from-to)198-209
Publication StatusPublished
<mark>Original language</mark>English

Abstract

A key assumption in agglomeration theory is that knowledge-based firms benefit from knowledge spillovers in cities. Cities however may have different locations in the national context, such as embedded in a network of nearby cities or relatively isolated. We examine social networks employed by university spin-off firms in urban environments that contrast in such a way, namely, Delft (the Netherlands) and Trondheim (Norway). A set of growth models is explored with a focus on characteristics of social networks through which knowledge is acquired, such as tightness, strength and spatial orientation. The networks appear to differ in various respects, except for a positive influence on growth of heterogeneity in the social background of partners. The largest difference is observed in strength of relationships: an increase in strength tends to hamper growth in Delft, while it tends to enhance growth in Trondheim.