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Knowledge Flows and Innovative Performances of NTBFs in Gauteng, South Africa: An Attempt to Explain Mixed Findings in Science Park Research

Authors: Kai-Ying A. Chan, Leon A.G. Oerlemans, Marthinus W. Pretorius


Science parks are often established to drive regional economic growth, especially in countries with emerging economies. However, mixed findings regarding the performances of science park firms are found in the literature. This study tries to explain these mixed findings by taking a relational approach and exploring (un)intended knowledge transfers between new technology-based firms (NTBFs) in the emerging South African economy. Moreover, the innovation outcomes of these NTBFs are examined by using a multi-dimensional construct. Results show that science park location plays a significant role in explaining innovative sales, but is insignificant when a different indicator of innovation outcomes is used. Furthermore, only for innovations that are new to the firms, both science park location and intended knowledge transfer via informal business relationships have a positive impact; whereas social relationships have a negative impact.

Keywords: knowledge flows, innovative performances, science parks, new technology-based firms

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