Formal Collaboration and Informal Information Networks

A grant from the ESRC and further funding from the European Commission allowed testing of the proposition that information for innovation flows more readily among firms in competition than among those in collaboration (with Dimitris Assimakopoulos and Rebecca Piekkari). The information exchange networks of key individuals in research projects funded by the European Commission were traced and mapped. Major findings are that information for innovation in Esprit (the Commission’s major IT programme) was acquired through personal rather than institutional channels, and that innovation in European IT seems to be more dependent on information from the United States than on information from Europe. The approach is now being extended to a study of information networks and innovation in China.