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South African Journal of Industrial Engineering

On-line version ISSN 2224-7890
Print version ISSN 1012-277X

S. Afr. J. Ind. Eng. vol.20 n.2 Pretoria  2009


Explaining mixed results on Science Parks performance: Bright and dark sides of the effects of inter-organisational knowledge transfer relationships



K.Y.A. ChanI; L.A.G. OerlemansII, III; M.W. PretoriusIV

IGraduate School of Technology Management, University of Pretoria, South Africa
IIGraduate School of Technology Management, University of Pretoria, South Africa
IIIDepartment of Organisation Studies & Center for Innovation Research, Tilburg University,The Netherlands
IVGraduate School of Technology Management, University of Pretoria, South Africa




In the recent past, several researchers explored the added-values of Science Parks. On the basis of empirical research, some questioned the assumed benefits of the science park model, whereas others reported positive outcomes. As a result, mixed findings regarding the benefits of science parks for firms can be observed. These mixed empirical findings require a theoretical explanation. This paper argues that different levels and types of knowledge exchange behaviour of science park firms could be one of the theoretical explanations for these mixed findings. The literature on networks mainly stresses the benefits of networking in general, and networking between firms located on science parks in particular. This paper proposes that networks can have both positive (knowledge sharing) and negative effects (opportunistic behavior and knowledge spillovers) for firms located on science parks. When the latter occurs, location on a science park might produce negative effects. A conceptual model is developed that summarises our theoretical arguments.


Verskeie navorsers het in die onlangse verlede die waardetoevoeging van Wetenskapparke ondersoek. Empiriese navorsingsresultate dui enersyds daarop dat die voordele van Wetenskapparke bevraagteken moet word, maar andersyds dat daar positiewe uitkomste ook is. Dit is dus nodig dat hierdie teenstrydige resultate verder ondersoek en teoretiese verklarings daarvoor gevind moet word. In hierdie artikel word geargumenteer dat verskillende vlakke en tipes kennisuitruil gedragspatrone van firmas wat in Wetenskapparke gestasioneer is, een van die teoretiese verklarings vir bogenoemde teenstrydige bevindings is. Die algemene literatuur oor netwerke lê hoofsaaklik klem op die algemene voordele van netwerking tussen firmas binne Wetenskapparke. Hierdie artikel argumenteer dat netwerke beide positiewe (kennisdeling) en negatiewe (opportunistiese gedrag en kennisoorspoeling) effekte vir firmas binne Wetenskapparke kan inhou.



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*The author was enrolled enrolled for a PhD (Technology Management) degree in the Graduate School of Technology Management, University of Pretoria.

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