A central feature of innovation systems is that innovation arises from interaction between organizational units. This requires 'cognitive distance' that is sufficiently large to yield novelty of combinations, but not too large for mutual understanding. Two problems and solutions in the transfer of knowledge, especially to small firms, are identified and discussed. There is a problem not only of expressing tacit knowledge, but also of absorbing new knowledge when it needs to replace existing tacit knowledge. Next to issues of learning or competence development there are also issues of governance, in the management of relational risk of dependence and spillover. The analysis yields a number of tasks and functions for regional systems of innovation.

knowledge transfer, regional innovation systems, small business, technology policy
Information and Product Quality; Standardization and Compatibility (jel L15), Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior (jel L2), Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting (jel M), Business Administration: General (jel M10), Innovation and Invention: Processes and Incentives (jel O31)
Erasmus Research Institute of Management
ERIM Report Series Research in Management
Copyright 2001, B. Nooteboom, This report in the ERIM Report Series Research in Management is intended as a means to communicate the results of recent research to academic colleagues and other interested parties. All reports are considered as preliminary and subject to possibly major revisions. This applies equally to opinions expressed, theories developed, and data used. Therefore, comments and suggestions are welcome and should be directed to the authors.
Erasmus Research Institute of Management

Nooteboom, B. (2001). Problems and Solutions in Knowledge Transfer (No. ERS-2001-74-ORG). ERIM Report Series Research in Management. Erasmus Research Institute of Management. Retrieved from http://hdl.handle.net/1765/138