The Diffusion of Explicit and Tacit Knowledge in Complex Networks
Bing Zhu* and Wenping Wang**
*School of Economics and Management, Anhui Normal University
No.189, Jiuhua South Road, Wuhu City, Anhui 241002, China
**School of Economics and Management, Southeast University
Nanjing, Jiangsu 211189, China
Industry clusters provide not only economic benefits, but also promote technological innovation through networking within a cluster. In this study, we analyze the mechanism of explicit and tacit knowledge diffusion in a cluster and how the network structure and the strength of ties influence the process of explicit and tacit knowledge diffusion. By focusing on four representative real-world networks – scale-free, small world, regular, and random – and the strength of ties between firms, the knowledge diffusion performance of entire organizations in a cluster is examined by the simulation method. We find that the network structure of clusters and the strength of ties are important for the knowledge diffusion performance in clusters. Among the four networks, the scale-free network shows the best knowledge diffusion performance, irrespective of the proportion of strong and weak ties present. In addition, the network with a greater number of strong ties leads to the explicit and tacit knowledge diffusion performance.
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