Proximity as determinant of business cooperation for technological and non-technological innovations: a study of an agribusiness cluster

Cristian Geldes, Jorge Heredia, Christian Felzensztein, Marcos Mora

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle in a journalpeer-review

35 Scopus citations

Abstract

Purpose: This paper aims to use the proximity approach of economic geography with its spatial dimension (geographic) and their non-spatial dimensions (social, institutional, cognitive and organizational) to shed light on the determinants of business cooperation with other organizations. It is also examined whetherthis cooperation is a determining factor for business innovation (innovation networks), drawing a distinction between technological and non-technological innovations. Design/methodology/approach: The study has a quantitative approach; it analyzes the case of 312 companies in a cluster of agribusinesses in an emerging economy (Chile). The proposal model and its interrelations are tested with exploratory factor analysis, confirmatory factor analysis and structural equation modeling. Findings: The results show that cognitive-organizational proximity is a positive determinant of business cooperation with other organizations, whereas social and institutional proximity are negative determinants. It is also established that business cooperation is a positive determinant of business innovation. It is more relevant in the case of technological innovation unlike non-technological innovations. In addition, it is noted that business cooperation levels are lower in micro-enterprises, a result that differs from developed countries. Practical implications: For business managers, it is best to cooperate with companies that are similar in terms of cognitive and organizational levels for innovation. At the same time, it is necessary develop strategies to reduce the social and institutional barriers to cooperation, especially in the agribusiness sector. Originality/value: The contributions of the study are as follows: an in-depth quantitative examination of the relationships of various non-spatial proximities as determinants of business cooperation; an analysis of whether business cooperation with other organizations is a determining factor for business innovation, distinguishing between technological and non-technological innovation; and testing these relationships in the context of agribusiness in an emerging economy such as Chile’s because most of studies are related to high-tech sector and developed economies.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)167-178
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Business and Industrial Marketing
Volume32
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2017

Keywords

  • Business cooperation
  • Cluster
  • Innovation
  • Networks
  • Proximity

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