Personal and social proximity empowering collaborations: The glue of knowledge networks

Ward Ooms*, Claudia Werker, Marjolein Caniëls

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

21 Citations (Scopus)
124 Downloads (Pure)


The proximity framework serves to analyse and understand how collaborations form and develop over time, and how these affect innovation and learning. The framework has inspired and informed empirical studies in several contexts, contributing to our understanding of the dynamics of dyadic collaborations, industrial clusters and districts, and regional innovation systems, to name but a few. Recent conceptual and empirical advances have called attention to the role of personal proximity and social proximity in such collaborations. In addition to other forms of proximity, these two dimensions could make up the glue that holds knowledge networks together. In the introduction to this special issue, we elaborate upon this proposition, setting out a point-of-departure for the three empirical studies collected in this issue. We summarize the findings of these papers, and develop a research agenda from those findings that may guide proximity researchers to novel research problems and useful research designs.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages8
JournalIndustry and Innovation
Publication statusPublished - 2018


  • collaboration
  • D71
  • D85
  • innovation
  • L14
  • O31
  • personal proximity
  • Proximity
  • social proximity


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