Hellenic Open University Conferences, International Conference on Business & Economics of the Hellenic Open University 2015

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THE MANY FACES OF PROXIMITY IN INNOVATION: A LITERATURE REVIEW
Yeoryios Stamboulis, Chrisi Stathaki

Building: Titania
Room: Socratis
Date: 2015-02-07 04:00 PM – 06:00 PM
Last modified: 2015-02-03

Abstract


Proximity had been considered as a spatial and highly localized phenomenon cultivating a “geographical bias” regarding the explanation of innovative activity in the past. Concurrently, the claim that “the more proximity there is (in a narrow sense), the more interaction and innovation occur” reflected a common consensus. Against the conjecture mentioned above, this paper offers a detailed review of the debate on the relation between proximity and innovation.

The French School of Proximity Dynamics made the first critical contribution to the field. It highlighted that proximity means more than just geography by identifying additional organizational elements. During the 20th century, further attempts were made by the academic community to open the black box of proximity. A certain finding underlined that proximity constitutes of both spatial and non-spatial elements including geography, laws, norms, culture, hierarchy, trust etc. As a result, numerous proximity aspects entered the debate and conduced to the issue’s complexity. Another conclusion brought to the surface the substitutive relation of proximity forms which makes their assessment in isolation impossible.