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When regional meets global: exploring the nature of global innovation networks in the video game industry in Southern Sweden

Journal article
Authors Cristina Chaminade
Roman Martin
James McKeever
Published in Entrepreneurship and Regional Development
ISSN 08985626
Publication year 2020
Published at Centre for Regional Analysis
Centre for International Business Studies
Department of Business Administration, Management & Organisation
Language en
Keywords Global innovation network, regional innovation system, Sweden, symbolic industry, video games
Subject categories Economic Geography


© 2020, © 2020 The Author(s). Published by Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group. For firms in symbolic (creative) industries, the region is usually seen as the main arena for knowledge sourcing and exchange. Why and how these firms use global innovation networks remains however poorly understood. This paper draws on in-depth interviews with firm representatives and network data collected through a survey of video game developers in southern Sweden. Video game development is a typical example of a symbolic industry, encompassing the development of non-tangible and symbol-intensive products and services. In recent years, this industry has advanced from a niche sector into a global mass market. Understanding how the hybrid character of the industry–with strong symbolic cultural roots but also a significant global engagement–affects the geography of innovation networks is the focus of this paper. The analysis reveals that knowledge sourcing and exchange take place likewise on the regional and global scale, but for different purposes and through different mechanisms. It also shows that not all variance in network engagement can be explained by differences in industrial knowledge bases or regional innovation systems. In contrast, the target market and the nature and geography of demand are important explanatory factors.

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