Journal of Evolutionary Economics

, Volume 16, Issue 1–2, pp 85–108 | Cite as

Why do firms disclose knowledge and how does it matter?

  • Paul MullerEmail author
  • Julien Pénin
Regular Article


In this paper we propose a simulation model aimed at describing the emergence and the dynamics of innovation networks, with particular emphasis on the role of open knowledge disclosure. It is argued that firms that widely disclose knowledge to other firms are more likely to enter innovation networks and to acquire a central position within these networks. By disclosing knowledge, firms increase their reputation, which indicates to other organizations that they are competent, and that it is worth starting a partnership with them. The higher a firm reputation, the higher its probability of entering new R&D partnerships with other firms. Our model provides, therefore, a rationale for behaviors of open knowledge disclosure by showing that such strategies, although risky in the short run, may pay in the long run by enabling firms to access external sources of knowledge more easily.


Open knowledge disclosure Inter-firm cooperation Reputation Network simulation 

JEL classification

D85 L14 L16 L23 



This paper was presented at the Druid 2004 summer conference in Copenhagen and at the International Schumpeter Society 2004 conference in Milan, where the authors were awarded the ISS best poster prize, sponsored by Industrial and Corporate Change. We are particularly grateful to Uwe Cantner for helpful comments.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.BETAUniversity Louis PasteurStrasbourgFrance
  2. 2.Département des sciences économiquesUniversité du Québec à MontréalMontréalCanada

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