nep-cse New Economics Papers
on Economics of Strategic Management
Issue of 2022‒01‒03
eight papers chosen by
João José de Matos Ferreira
Universidade da Beira Interior

  1. Reaching for the Stars: When Does Basic Research Collaboration between Firms and Academic Star Scientists Benefit Firm Invention Performance? By Relinde Colen; Rene Belderbos; Stijn Kelchtermans; Bart Leten
  2. La estrategia de la búsqueda de activos de las empresas multinacionales de países emergentes, transferencia de conocimiento y modernización industrial: El caso de China By Yang Li
  3. Firms going digital: Tapping into the potential of data for innovation By David Gierten; Steffen Viete; Raphaela Andres; Thomas Niebel
  4. Italian firms in times of troubles: Covid-19 pandemic as a test of structural solidity By Stefano Costa; Federico Sallusti; Claudio Vicarelli; Davide Zurlo
  5. Improving knowledge transfer and collaboration between science and business in Spain By OECD
  6. Industry 4.0 Technologies in Flexible Manufacturing for Sustainable Organizational Value: Reflections from a Multiple Case Study of Italian Manufacturers By Emanuele Gabriel Margherita; Alessio Maria Braccini
  7. The creation and diffusion of knowledge: Evidence from the Jet Age By Pauly, Stefan; Stipanicic, Fernando
  8. Technology Adoption and Skills A Pilot Study of Kent SMEs By Catherine Robinson; Christian Siegel; Sisi Liao

  1. By: Relinde Colen; Rene Belderbos; Stijn Kelchtermans; Bart Leten
    Abstract: While their expertise and scientific excellence make academic star scientists attractive collaboration partners for firms, this study indicates that firms face difficulties in capturing value from collaborations with academic stars. Stars are time constrained, may be less committed to commercialization, and can be a source of undesired knowledge spillovers to other firms. The purpose of this study is to recognize the contingencies under which collaboration with star scientists is positively associated with a firm’s ability to produce valuable patents (invention performance). We analyze a panel dataset on the collaborations in basic research(publication data) and invention performance (patent output) of 60 prominent pharmaceutical firms. We find that basic research collaboration with academic stars is on average not associated with a performance premium above the overall positive influence of collaborating with academia. We only observe this premium if the star scientist abstains from simultaneous collaboration with other firms (‘dedication’) and extend her collaboration with the firm to involvenot only basic but also applied research (‘translation’). Extending prior work that has focused on corporate star scientists, we find that if the collaboration involves an internal firm star scientist, a translational contribution of the academic star is no longer a prerequisite, and may even be detrimental to inventive performance. Our findings inform the literatures on industry-science links and firms’ (scientific) absorptive capacity by revealing the crucial contingencies for firms to benefit from partnering with the best and brightest among academic scientists. Practitioner Points: - Intuitively we may expect that collaborating with the very top among academics benefits firms, yet collaborating with these academic star scientists also entails important challenges. - Organizations seeking to benefit from the extraordinary expertise of academic star scientists should take into account two important conditions: o The top academic should be a dedicated collaboration partner, and avoid simultaneous collaboration with other firms. o The top academic should not only be involved in basic research but also in applied research collaboration with the firm, enhancing her ability to assist the firm in the translation of research into a marketable product. - When the firm also employs a star scientist who is engaged in the collaborative research with an academic star scientist, the translation of the joint research is better performed by the internally employed star scientists instead of the academic star scientist.
    Keywords: university-industry collaboration, knowledge transfer, star scientists
    Date: 2021–11–29
  2. By: Yang Li (Instituto Complutense de Estudios Internacionales (ICEI), Universidad Complutense de Madrid.)
    Abstract: En este trabajo se analiza la motivación y estrategia de las empresas multinacionales chinas en su internacionalización vía fusiones y adquisiciones (F&A). Haciendo uso de los datos que proporciona la Oficina Nacional de Estadística de China y la Base de Datos Zephyr entre 2011 y 2017, se plantea un modelo econométrico de efectos fijos que permite estudiar el impacto de las operaciones de F&A en el desempeño innovador industrial de China. En cuanto a los principales resultados obtenidos, se evidencia que prevalece una búsqueda de activos estratégicos en la internacionalización de China a través de F&A, lo que le permite la adquisición de conocimiento en el exterior y contribuye positivamente al resultado tecnológico de la industria. Sin embargo, las empresas estatales no contribuyen al desempeño innovador de China en sus estrategias de internacionalización. Por último, es relevante mencionar, que el conocimiento adquirido en el extranjero a través de fusiones y adquisiciones se encuentra impulsado actualmente por las políticas industriales de China.
    Abstract: This paper analyzes the motivation and strategy of Chinese multinational companies in their internationalization via mergers and acquisitions (M&A). Using the data provided by the National Statistical Office of China and the Zephyr Database between 2011 and 2017, a fixed effects econometric model is proposed that allows studying the impact of M&A operations on China's industrial innovation performance. Regarding the main results obtained, it is evident that a search for strategic assets prevails in the internationalization of China through M&A, which allows the acquisition of knowledge abroad and contributes positively to the technological result of the industry. However, state-owned companies do not contribute to China's innovative performance in its internationalization strategies. Finally, it is relevant to mention that the knowledge acquired abroad through mergers and acquisitions is currently driven by China's industrial policies.
    Keywords: Empresas Multinacionales Emergentes; Fusiones y Adquisiciones Transfronterizas; Transferencia de Conocimiento Inverso; Innovación; Emerging Multinational Companies; Cross-Border Mergers and Acquisitions; Reverse Spillover; Innovation
    Date: 2021
  3. By: David Gierten; Steffen Viete; Raphaela Andres; Thomas Niebel
    Abstract: This paper aims to help policy makers understand and improve the conditions for firms to thrive in an increasingly digital economy where data has become an important resource for innovation. The paper: 1) analyses trends in the adoption of information and communication technologies and activities that enable firms to collect, store and use data, including big data analysis (BDA); 2) provides new evidence from micro-econometric analysis of firms’ BDA and innovation in products, processes, marketing and organisation, considering different types of data used for BDA; 3) examines business models of firms that successfully innovate with data; and 4) discusses policies that can help improve the conditions for all firms to go digital and tap into the potential of data for innovation.
    Date: 2021–12–20
  4. By: Stefano Costa; Federico Sallusti; Claudio Vicarelli; Davide Zurlo
    Abstract: In this paper we study the structural robustness of Italian business system, using Covid-19 pandemic as an exogenous event to test it. To this aim, we use the ROC (Receiver Operating Characteristics) methodology, quite new for Economics, to classify Italian firms according to their economic solidity, obtaining a taxonomy based on a wide set of characteristics. Our results show that the number of 'Solid' firms are less than one fifth of the universe of Italian enterprises but they represent the lion share in terms of employment and value added. 'Fragile' and 'Risky' firms, albeit much less relevant for the creation of value added, account for over one third of total employment, so that they are a worrisome issue for policy makers. The pandemic crisis has clearly both a size and sector-related dimension: Risky and Fragile conditions prevail among firms with smaller economic size (a broad definition of firm size) and among those operating in Construction and Other services. Finally, we find that factors such as firms' performance, internal and external organization, although significant, play a less relevant role than economic size and digitalization/innovation in determining Italian firms' solidity to shocks such as the Covid-19 one.
    Keywords: Covid-19; ROC analysis; economic solidity to pandemic.
    Date: 2021–12–20
  5. By: OECD
    Abstract: This study provides an in-depth assessment of Spain’s innovation system and the current state of knowledge transfer and collaboration. It identifies five priority areas for reform and long-term investment that should provide the basis of a new Roadmap. These include granting greater operational autonomy to universities and public research organisations in return for accountability on outcomes, putting in place a better integrated system of incentives that takes both individuals and organisations into account, and ensuring sustained investment in core capabilities to connect science and business. To put these reforms in motion and sustain them over time, a new type of covenant between science and society is needed in Spain today. This should be based on a ‘new deal’ between actors in the science and innovation system and society at large, committing to place the pursuit of concrete social benefits in return for more stable and predictable support.
    Keywords: country study, higher education institutions, innovation, innovation policy, intermediation agents, knowledge transfer, public research organisations, science-business collaboration, universities
    JEL: O3 O38 I23
    Date: 2021–12–16
  6. By: Emanuele Gabriel Margherita (Università degli studi della Tuscia [Viterbo]); Alessio Maria Braccini
    Abstract: In this study, we analyse the value creation of Industry 4.0 (I40) technologies in flexible manufacturing (FM) under a sustainability perspective. I40 is a popular strategy that Western manufacturing organizations adopt to face competition from low-cost producers. Organizations adopting I40 use advanced digital technologies to make production processes more flexible and increasingly automated. Several pieces of evidence confirm how I40 leads to higher productivity and higher-quality products, improving the economic performance of organizations. However, increasing automation may also lead to the reduction of human labour in the production process, which may contribute to the disappearance of jobs, the reduction of expertise and the loss of know-how in manufacturing organizations. While the literature acknowledges the technical and economic advantages of I40, the sustainability of the value created through these technologies deserves further investigation. To address the gap, we complement the IT value theory with the concept of sustainability, including the three dimensions of economic, environmental and social sustainability. We perform a multiple case study analysis of four Italian manufacturing organizations that have successfully implemented I40 technologies in FM. The cases show that I40 technologies support sustainable organizational value when they are deployed with a worker-centric approach. In this condition, the organization leverages workforce activities to continuously fine-tune the technologies and to exploit the adaptive features of the technologies to continuously improve processes.
    Keywords: flexible manufacturing,Industry 4.0,sustainability,triple bottom line,social sustainability,multiple case study,technology adoption,IT value,sustainable value
    Date: 2021–07–29
  7. By: Pauly, Stefan; Stipanicic, Fernando
    Abstract: This paper provides new causal evidence of the impact of improvements in air travel during the beginning of the Jet Age on the creation and diffusion of knowledge. We digitize airlines’ historical flight schedules and construct a novel data set of the flight network in the United States. Between 1951 and 1966, travel time between locations more than 2,000km apart decreased on average by 41%. The reduction in travel time explains 33% of the increase in knowledge diffusion as measured by patent citations. The increase in knowledge diffusion further caused an increase in the creation of new knowledge. The results provide evidence that jet airplanes led to innovation convergence across locations and contributed to the shift in innovation activity towards the South and the West of the United States.
    Keywords: O31, O33, R41, N72
    Date: 2021–11
  8. By: Catherine Robinson; Christian Siegel; Sisi Liao
    Abstract: Does the successful deployment of digital technologies require complementary investment in skills? We conducted a pilot survey to investigate. The survey elicited information on whether the firm was adopting one of the three digital technologies of interest (AI, robotics, big data), provided in-house training, and whether they experienced any problems recruiting workers. We find evidence that new technologies require complementary skill investments and that firms deem both new technologies and training of their workforce important for productivity. While there is some heterogeneity across the type of technologies (Robotics, AI, Big Data) introduced, firms facing difficulties attracting workers with the right skills are more likely to run own training programmes. This might suggest that there is a skills gap that may be holding back productivity and economic growth. Overall, the findings from our pilot survey demonstrate firms's awareness of the need for skills to complement new technologies to realise the productivity benefits in full.
    Keywords: capital-skill complementarity; business performance; technology adoption
    JEL: J24 M53 O33
    Date: 2021–12

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