On International Technology Diffusion: A Case Study of the Norwegian Microelectronics Industry
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The study identifies two knowledge networks through which firms can identify and absorb new knowledge. One such knowledge network is nationally oriented, and constitutes of commercial and non-commercial actors situated in a domestic environment. The other network is internationally oriented, and allows national firms to tap into knowledge pools that reside in foreign countries. Research traditions have investigated these networks separately; cluster theory in particular has gotten immensely popular for its emphasis on the local knowledge network. We derive a model of international diffusion that bridges the two knowledge networks, and investigate how the process of international technology diffusion relates to the competitiveness of national industries. The model?s appropriateness is tested through a case study of the birth and growth of the Norwegian microelectronics industry. The findings suggest that firms depend on different knowledge networks through different phases of industry development. When present in international markets, firms prioritize international knowledge relations in order to be responsive to technology trends. This insight challenges the cluster theorists? emphasis on the importance of locality, and implications for management and policy makers are discussed.