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Bridges or isolates? Investigating the social networks of academic inventors

Forti, E; Sobrero, M; Franzoni, C; (2013) Bridges or isolates? Investigating the social networks of academic inventors. Research Policy , 42 (8) 1378 - 1388. 10.1016/j.respol.2013.05.003. Green open access

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Abstract

We analyze the acquaintances of a sample of academic inventors and their paired controls to investigate the contribution of social networks to the generation of inventive ideas in academe. Prior to patenting, inventors work in networks of similar dimension and structure as those of their colleagues who do not invent. The ego-networks of the inventors are however more cohesive (denser), a circumstance that is often seen as associated to the exchange of more fine-grained information and to a greater climate of trust which facilitates long-term relationships and learning. Over time, both inventors and non-inventors extend their networks and become more central. In general, we found no evidence that after patenting inventors isolate or close their networks. © 2013 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Type: Article
Title: Bridges or isolates? Investigating the social networks of academic inventors
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1016/j.respol.2013.05.003
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.respol.2013.05.003
Additional information: © 2013 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.
Keywords: Academic patenting; Social networks; Knowledge generation; Brokerage; Cohesive networks; Technology transfer;
URI: http://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1425761
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