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A Comparative Study between Silicon Valley and Sophia-Antipolis: Dynamic Interactions between Communities of Practices in High-Tech Clusters



Michel Ferrary, Ceram Graduate School of Business, Sophia-Antipolis

Date and Time

May 8, 2003 12:00 PM - 1:00 PM


Open to the public.

No RSVP required


Philippines Conference Room

Professor Ferrary will present the results of a comparative study between Silicon Valley and Sophia Antipolis (France). He and co-authors Michel Bernasconi (Ceram) and Ludovic DiBiaggio (Ceram) examine to what extent the endogenous growth of a high-tech cluster depends on two factors:

  1. The complete set of communities of practices (Wenger, 1998) providing the complementary competences needed to create and develop start-ups (e.g. scientific researchers, managers, engineers, VC, lawyers, consultants, etc.)
  2. The quality of interactions between these communities of practices, defined as a group of people linked by strong ties (Granovetter, 1973) to produce expertises through frequent interactions. The coordination and circulation of information depend on the quality of weak ties between these communities.

Is a high-tech cluster handicapped if a community of practices is missing? And/or if the quality of inter-communities interactions is poor? Professor Ferrary will share the results of testing these hypotheses in Silicon Valley and Sophia Antipolis.

About the Speaker

Michel Ferrary is Professor of Management at Ceram Graduate School of Business in Sophia-Antipolis (French Riviera). Previously, he was a visiting scholar for two years at Stanford's Department of Sociology, where he analyzed social networks in Silicon Valley and the new practices of corporate venturing used by large high-tech companies. Professor Ferrary has published journal articles on a wide array of topics, including labor markets, competencies management, banking strategy, the use of social networks in banking activities, corporate venturing, and social networks in Silicon Valley. He received his PhD in business administration from HEC Business School (France).