The Role of Personal Proximity in Collaborations: The Case of Dutch Nanotechnology

W.M. Ooms, M.C.J. Caniels, Claudia Werker

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Proximity in various forms drives collaborations and innovation. The relationship between
proximity and innovation has been studied extensively. Most of the studies have focused on
dimensions of proximity exogenous to the individual, such as one’s personal characteristics or
working style. However, as we will show in this paper, personal proximity – close similarity
in terms of personal traits, behavioural patterns, and the degree to which individuals enjoy
each other’s company – affects research collaborations. In particular, whether and to what
extent partners “click” can make or break a collaboration. We conduct a multiple-case study
of research collaborations of Dutch nanotechnology scientists. Our qualitative analysis reveals
the role of personal proximity, relative to other dimensions of proximity, in the formation of
research collaborations and in shaping their output.
Original languageEnglish
Pages1- 40
Publication statusPublished - 2014
EventDRUID Society Conference 2014: Entrepreneurship - organization - innovation - Copenhagen, Denmark
Duration: 16 Jun 201418 Jun 2014


ConferenceDRUID Society Conference 2014


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