A Microeconomic Approach to the Dynamics of Knowledge Creation

  • Patrick Cohendet
  • Jean-Alain Héraud
  • Patrick Llerena
Part of the Knowledge and Space book series (KNAS, volume 5)


The aim of this contribution is to analyze the period of collective research extending from the emergence of the first innovative idea to the moment when a patent can be written and claimed. The authors argue that the period of collective research is characterized by the building of public or semipublic good in order to equip the innovative idea with a “codebook” (shared codes, tests, and “grammar of usage”) and to reveal its economic potential. They emphasize the role of knowing communities as the active units in the dynamic process of invention and discuss some of the consequences in two domains of application: property rights and creative clusters.


Tacit Knowledge Innovative Idea Creative Idea Boundary Spanner Epistemic Community 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


  1. Allen, T. J. (1977). Managing the flow of technology. Cambridge: MIT Press.Google Scholar
  2. Allen, J. P. (2004). Redefining the network: Enrollment strategies in the PDA industry. Information Technology & People, 17, 171–185.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Andersen, E., & Teubal, M. (1999, June). High tech cluster creation and cluster re-configuration: A system and policy perspective. Supplementary paper presented at the DRUID Summer Conference on National Innovation Systems, Industrial Dynamics and Innovation Policy, Copenhagen.Google Scholar
  4. Arrow, K. J. (1962). Economic welfare and the allocation of resources for invention. In R. R. Nelson (Ed.), The rate and direction of inventive activity: Economic and social factors (pp. 609–625). Princeton: Princeton University Press.Google Scholar
  5. Bach, L., Ledoux, M. J., Matt, M., & Schaeffer, V. (1995). Evaluation of the economic effects of Brite-Euram programmes on the European Industry. Scientometrics, 34, 325–349.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Bathelt, H., Malmberg, A., & Maskell, P. (2002). Cluster and knowledge: Local buzz, global pipelines and the process of knowledge creation (DRUID Working Paper, No.02-12). Copenhagen.Google Scholar
  7. Bathelt, H., Malmberg, A., & Maskell, P. (2004). Clusters and knowledge: Local buzz, global pipelines and the process of knowledge creation. Progress in Human Geography, 28, 31–56. doi: 10.1191/0309132504ph469oa.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Boland, R. J., & Tenkasi, R. V. (1995). Perspective making and perspective taking in communities of knowing. Organization Science, 6, 350–372.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Bresnahan, T. F., Gambardella, A., & Saxenian, A. (2002). “Old Economyinputs forNew Economyoutcomes: Cluster formation in the New Silicon Valley (Working paper). Stanford: Stanford University.Google Scholar
  10. Callon, M. (1999). Le Réseau comme forme émergente et comme modalité de coordination: le cas des interactions stratégiques entre firmes industrielles et laboratoires académiques [The network as an emergent form and as a mode of coordination: The case of the strategic interactions between industrial firms and academic laboratories]. In M. Callon, P. Cohendet, N. Curien, & J.-M. Dalle (Eds.), Réseau et Coordination (pp. 13–64). Paris: Économica.Google Scholar
  11. Callon, M., & Latour, B. (1991). La Science telle qu’elle se fait: Anthologie de la sociologie des sciences de langue anglaise [Science as a dynamic process: An anthology of the sociology of sciences of English language]. Paris: La Découverte.Google Scholar
  12. Caribou, C. (2006). Encastrement sociocognitif et création de connaissances: Essais théoriques et empiriques en économie de la créativité [Socio-cognitive embeddedness and creation of knowledge: Theoretical and empirical studies in the economics of creativity]. Thèse, Faculté des sciences Économiques, Université de Rennes.Google Scholar
  13. Cassier, M., & Foray, D. (2002). Public knowledge, private property and the economics of high-tech consortia. Economics of Innovation and New Technology, 11, 123–132.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Cassier, M., & Gaudillière, J. P. (1999). Pratiques d’échanges, de collaboration et d’appropriation dans le domaine de la génétique du cancer du sein [Practices of exchange, collaboration, and appropriation in the field of the genetics of breast cancer]. Rapport d’étape, CNRS-CERMES, Paris.Google Scholar
  15. Cohen, W. M., & Levinthal, D. A. (1990). Absorptive capacity: A new perspective on learning and innovation. Administrative Science Quarterly, 35, 128–152.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Cohendet, P., & Meyer-Krahmer, F. (2001). The theoretical and policy implications of knowledge codification. Research Policy, 30, 1563–1591.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Cohendet, P., Farcot, M., & Pénin, J. (2006, June). Rethinking the economic role of patents in a knowledge-based economy. Contribution to the 11th conference of the International Schumpeter Society, Sophia-Antipolis, Nice, France.Google Scholar
  18. Cowan, R., David, P. A., & Foray, D. (2000). The explicit economics of knowledge codification and tacitness. Industrial and Corporate Change, 9, 211–253.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Fleming, L., Colfer, L., Marin, A., & McPhie, J. (2012). Why the valley went first: Agglomeration and emergence in regional inventor networks. In J. Padgett & W. W. Powell (Eds.), The emergence of organizations and markets (Chap. 17). Princeton: Princeton University Press.Google Scholar
  20. Girvan, M., & Newman, M. E. J. (2001). Community structure in social and biological networks (Working paper). Santa Fe: Santa Fe Institute.Google Scholar
  21. Lave, J., & Wenger, E. C. (1991). Situated learning: Legitimate peripheral participation. New York: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Mintzberg, H. (1979). The structuring of organizations: A synthesis of the research. Englewood Cliffs: Prentice Hall.Google Scholar
  23. Nonaka, I., & Konno, N. (1998). The concept of ba: Building for knowledge creation [Special issue]. California Management Review, 40(3), 40–54.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Nonaka, I., & Takeuchi, H. (1995). The knowledge-creating company: How Japanese companies create the dynamics of innovation. New York: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  25. Nooteboom, B. (2000). Learning by interaction: Absorptive capacity, cognitive distance and governance. Journal of Management and Governance, 4, 69–92.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Rullani, E. (2002). The industrial cluster as a complex adaptive system. In A. Q. Curzio & M. Fortis (Eds.), Complexity and industrial clusters: Dynamics and models in theory and practice (pp. 35–61). New York: Physica-Verlag.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Saxenian, A. L. (1994). Regional advantage: Culture and competition in Silicon Valley and Route 128. Cambridge: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
  28. Saxenian, A. L. (1995, November 11). Creating a twentieth century technical community: Frederick Terman’s Silicon Valley. Paper prepared for the Inaugural Symposium on “The inventor and the innovative society,” The Lemelson Center for Invention and Innovation, National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institute.Google Scholar
  29. Storper, M., & Venables, A. J. (2004). Buzz: Face-to-face contact and the urban economy. Journal of Economic Geography, 4, 351–370.Google Scholar
  30. Tushman, M. L. (1977). Special boundary roles in the innovation process. Administrative Science Quarterly, 22, 587–605.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Uzzi, B., & Spiro, J. (2005). Collaboration and creativity: The small world problem. The American Journal of Sociology, 111, 447–504.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Willinger, M., & Zuscovitch, E. (1988). Towards the economics of information intensive production systems: The case of advanced materials. In G. Dosi, C. Freeman, R. Nelson, G. Silverberg, & L. Soete (Eds.), Technical change and economic theory (pp. 239–255). London: Frances Pinter.Google Scholar
  33. Winter, S. G. (1993). Patents and welfare in an evolutionary model. Industrial and Corporate Change, 2, 211–231.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Zuscovitch, E. (1998). Networks, specialization and trust. In P. Cohendet, P. Llerena, H. Stahn, & G. Umbhauer (Eds.), The economics of networks (pp. 243–264). Berlin: Springer.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht. 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Patrick Cohendet
    • 1
    • 2
  • Jean-Alain Héraud
    • 2
  • Patrick Llerena
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of International Business (SEAI)MOSAIC, HEC MontréalMontréalCanada
  2. 2.BETA, Université de Strasbourg, UMR CNRS 7522, BETA/PEGE, Université de StrasbourgStrasbourg CedexFrance

Personalised recommendations