Explaining spatial patterns of innovation: analytical and synthetic modes of knowledge creation in the Medicon Valley life-science cluster

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


The authors address the dichotomy around 'proximate' and 'distant' learning processes by looking specifically at the characteristics of the knowledge-creation process. By way of suggesting an alternative conceptualization to the well-known tacit-codified knowledge dichotomy, they propose a distinction between 'analytical' and 'synthetic' modes of knowledge creation. Analytical knowledge creation refers to the understanding and explaining of features of the (natural) world. Synthetic knowledge creation refers to the design or construction of something to attain functional goals. By applying this framework to qualitative empirics from the Medicon Valley life-science cluster, the authors demonstrate the complementarity of globally distributed analytical knowledge creation and locally oriented synthetic knowledge creation.


Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Social Sciences Interdisciplinary
  • Human Geography
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1040-1056
JournalEnvironment & Planning A
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2008
Publication categoryResearch