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Article

Geographical Proximity Paradox Revisited: The Case of IT Service SMEs in Poland

Institute of Geography and Spatial Management, Jagiellonian University, Gronostajowa 7, 30-387 Krakow, Poland
Sustainability 2019, 11(20), 5770; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11205770
Received: 17 September 2019 / Revised: 7 October 2019 / Accepted: 16 October 2019 / Published: 17 October 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Local and Regional Development in the Conditions of Globalisation)
Knowledge flow is among the most crucial social processes triggering innovation and regional development. Intercompany knowledge flow among Polish information technology (IT) service small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) is studied in this paper. The main aim is to identify market and technological knowledge flow channels and their spatial scales. Based on information derived from computer-assisted telephone interviews (CATIs), in-depth interviews (IDIs) and data analysis (correspondence analysis and comparative study of spatial structures of knowledge flows), the geographical proximity paradox is tested. It is argued there is a need to move beyond the local buzz–global pipeline dichotomy. Knowledge is acquired at various spatial scales, which enhances the sustainability of the knowledge acquisition process and makes companies, regions and cities more resilient. The multiscalarity of knowledge flows is the most remarkable in the case of private contacts with colleagues from schools or previous workplaces. Spatially diversified study and job experiences of entrepreneurs goes along with return migration. In earlier Central and Eastern European studies, knowledge flow was often defined by the dominance of national (domestic) flow over weak global interactions. Trade relations, especially those occurring on an international scale, represent the most important channel of market and technological knowledge flow for the surveyed companies. The second most important channel is the employment of specialists, which is by far the most frequent and most important on an interregional scale. Due to the small size of surveyed companies, foreign specialists are used least frequently. Instead of using regional business events as a vehicle for knowledge flow, representatives of the IT service sector prefer to attend domestic meetings. In the case of Polish IT service SMEs, the paradox of geographical proximity is better described by the dominance of national over global knowledge flow. View Full-Text
Keywords: proximity paradox; geographical proximity; knowledge flows; small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs); IT service sector; Poland proximity paradox; geographical proximity; knowledge flows; small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs); IT service sector; Poland
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MDPI and ACS Style

Micek, G. Geographical Proximity Paradox Revisited: The Case of IT Service SMEs in Poland. Sustainability 2019, 11, 5770. https://doi.org/10.3390/su11205770

AMA Style

Micek G. Geographical Proximity Paradox Revisited: The Case of IT Service SMEs in Poland. Sustainability. 2019; 11(20):5770. https://doi.org/10.3390/su11205770

Chicago/Turabian Style

Micek, Grzegorz. 2019. "Geographical Proximity Paradox Revisited: The Case of IT Service SMEs in Poland" Sustainability 11, no. 20: 5770. https://doi.org/10.3390/su11205770

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