This thesis aims to explore which factors are needed for a distributed network to collaborate efficiently in developing new innovations. To answer this question not only have theories been used, but data have been gathered from a National distributed network in Norway. The network Bluelight in the field of information security is used as a case study for this thesis. The empirical data is based on 11 interviews from informants with relations to the network.
In order to answer the above core question the case has been discussed against a theoretical framework about Information Technology Communication, local buzz and proximity dimensions. First a discussion about the concept local buzz has tried to give an answer to how the concept implies to the network and whether or not the buzz has been created automatically. Further different dimensions of proximity have gained at explaining how the communication functions in Bluelight and has also explained how the different dimensions can explain how the network has become successful.
This thesis has argued that it has been essential for Bluelight to have much face to face contact for the establishment of trust. When the trust has been established there has been created both a local and national buzz. For this distributed network to collaborate efficiently it has been essential for them to have certain proximity with their members. Close cognitive proximity has given an effective transfer of knowledge because of the absorptive capacity hold by the members. Close social proximity has been part of creating trust. The Arena program has created an institutional framework which has been essential for Bluelight’s success. Close organizational proximity has been essential for the flow of competence and knowledge. Which proximity dimensions that is important for a network will depend on which phase they are in. For Bluelight the above proximity dimensions have been essential in their phases for the network to develop effective innovations.
Keywords: Innovation, Proximity, Buzz, Network, ICT