Bridging centrality: A new indicator to measure the positioning of actors in R&D networks

Thomas Scherngell (Speaker), Laurent Bergé, Iris Wanzenböck

Research output: Chapter in Book or Conference ProceedingsConference Proceedings with Oral Presentationpeer-review

Abstract

In the recent past, we can observe growing interest in the STI community in the notion of positioning indicators, shifting emphasis to actors in the innovation process and their R&D inter-linkages with other actors. In relation to this, we suggest a new approach for assessing the positioning of actors relying on the notion of bridging centrality (BC). Based on the concept of bridging paths, i.e. a set of two links connecting three actors across three different aggregate nodes (e.g. organisations, regions or countries), we argue that triangulation in networks is a key issue for knowledge recombinations and the extension of an actor's knowledge base. As bridges are most often not empirically observable at the individual Level of research teams, we propose an approximated BC measure that provides a flexible framework for dealing with the aggregation problem in positioning actors. Hereby, BC is viewed as a function of an aggregate node's (i) participation intensity in the network, (ii) ist openness to other nodes (i.e. the relative outward orientation of network links), and iii) the diversification of links to other nodes. In doing so, we provide an integrative perspective that enables us to achieve a better understanding of the positioning of certain actors in R&D networks. An illustrative example on the co-patent network of European regions demonstrates the performance and usefulness of our BC measure for networks constructed at the aggregated level, i.e. regions in our example. A region's outward orientation and the diversification of ist network links moderates the influence of regional scale on network centrality. This is a Major strength of the measure, and it paves the way for future studies to examine the role of certain aggregate node's, and, by this, contributes to the debate on positioning indicators in the STI context.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationSTI Conference 2016
EditorsIsmael Ràfols, Jordi Molas-Gallart, Elena Castro-Martínez, Richard Woolley
Pages1106-1116
Number of pages11
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2016
Event21ST International Conference on Science and Technology Indicators -
Duration: 14 Sept 201616 Sept 2016

Conference

Conference21ST International Conference on Science and Technology Indicators
Period14/09/1616/09/16

Research Field

  • Former Research Field - Innovation Systems and Policy

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