nep-knm New Economics Papers
on Knowledge Management and Knowledge Economy
Issue of 2006‒11‒18
six papers chosen by
Emanuele Canegrati
Catholic University of the Sacred Heart

  1. Structural Holes, Innovation and the Distribution of Ideas By Cowan, Robin; Jonard, Nicolas
  2. All that glitters is not gold: A critically-constructive analysis of positive organizational behavior By Lopes, Miguel Pereira; Cunha, Miguel Pina e
  3. The structure of R&D collaboration networks in the European Framework Programmes By Roediger-Schluga, Thomas; Barber, Michael J.
  4. Decision-Making in the Context of Imprecise Probabilistic Beliefs By Klaus Nehring
  5. Computing Alternating Offers and Water Prices in Bilateral River Basin Management By Harold Houba
  6. Executive Managers in Large Mexican Family Businesses By Hoshino, Taeko

  1. By: Cowan, Robin (UNU-MERIT); Jonard, Nicolas (Université de Luxembourg)
    Abstract: We model knowledge diffusion in a population of agents situated on a network, interacting only over direct ties. Some agents are by nature traders, others are by nature "givers": traders demand a quid pro quo for information transfer; givers do not. We are interested in efficiency of diffusion and explore the interplay between the structure of the population (proportion of traders), the network structure (clustering, path length and degree distribution), and the scarcity of knowledge. We find that at the global level, trading (as opposed to giving) reduces efficiency. At the individual level, highly connected agents do well when knowledge is scarce, agents in clustered neighbourhoods do well when it is abundant. The latter finding is connected to the debate on structural holes and social capital.
    Keywords: Innovation, Diffusion of Innovations, Knowledge, Information, Networks
    JEL: O31 D8
    Date: 2006
  2. By: Lopes, Miguel Pereira; Cunha, Miguel Pina e
    Abstract: Positive Organizational Behavior (POB) is taking its momentum in management studies, but it is far from its fullest potential as it is not yet developing integrative comprehensive explanatory models of organizational behavior. This article discusses the biased character of POB revealed in its focus on the positive outcomes of positive psychological capabilities and lack of consideration for the negative side of positive capabilities. We argue that this results from a confirmatory bias also featured in mainstream psychology towards the negative outputs of negative psychological states. We discuss counterintuitive empirical evidence that positive psychological capabilities can produce either positive or negative outputs the same way negative psychological states do. On that basis, we propose three new avenues for further advancement of POB: exploring nonlinear frameworks, focusing on contextual relations, and adopting counterintuitive research techniques.
    Date: 2006
  3. By: Roediger-Schluga, Thomas (Department of Technology Policy, ARC Systems Research); Barber, Michael J. (Centro de Ciências Matemáticas, Universidade da Madeira)
    Abstract: Using a large and novel data source, we study the structure of R&D collaboration net-works in the first five EU Framework Programmes (FPs). The networks display proper-ties typical for complex networks, including scale-free degree distributions and the small-world property. Structural features are common across FPs, indicating similar network formation mechanisms despite changes in governance rules. Several findings point towards the existence of a stable core of interlinked actors since the early FPs with integration increasing over time. This core consists mainly of universities and research organisations. We observe assortative mixing by degree of projects, but not by degree of organisations. Unexpectedly, we find only weak association between central projects and project size, suggesting that different types of projects attract different groups of actors. In particular, large projects appear to have included few of the pivotal actors in the networks studied. Central projects only partially mirror funding priorities, indicating field-specific differences in network structures. The paper concludes with an agenda for future research.
    Keywords: R&D collaboration, EU Framework Programmes, Complex Networks, Small World Effect, Centrality Measures, European Research Area
    JEL: L14 O38 Z13
    Date: 2006
  4. By: Klaus Nehring (Department of Economics, University of California Davis)
    Abstract: Coherent imprecise probabilistic beliefs are modelled as incomplete comparative likelihood relations admitting a multiple-prior representation. Under a structural assumption of Equidivisibility, we provide an axiomatization of such relations and show uniqueness of the representation. In the second part of the paper, we formulate a behaviorally general axiom relating preferences and probabilistic beliefs which implies that preferences over unambiguous acts are probabilistically sophisticated and which entails representability of preferences over Savage acts in an Anscombe-Aumann-style framework. The motivation for an explicit and separate axiomatization of beliefs for the study of decision-making under ambiguity is discussed in some detail.
    Date: 2006–04
  5. By: Harold Houba (Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam)
    Abstract: This contribution deals with the fundamental critique in Dinar et al. (1992, Theory and Decision 32) on the use of Game theory in water management: People are reluctant to monetary transfers unrelated to water prices and game theoretic solutions impose a computational burden. For the bilateral alternating-offers model, a single optimization program significantly reduces the computational burden. Furthermore, water prices and property rights result from exploiting the Second Welfare Theorem. Both issues are discussed and applied to a bilateral version of the theoretical river basin model in Ambec and Sprumont (2002). Directions for future research are provided.
    Keywords: International River Management; Negotiation Theory; Game Theory; Computations; Non-transferable utility; Property rights; Walrasian equilibrium prices; Applied General Equilibrium model
    JEL: C72 C78 D50 D58
  6. By: Hoshino, Taeko
    Abstract: The involvement of members of owners' families in the running of large family businesses in Mexico is decreasing. Although family members still hold key posts such as that of CEO, other executive posts tend to be delegated to professional salaried managers. Top managers, including family members, share some common characteristics. They are young compared with managers in other developed countries, their quality as human resources is high, and many of them are graduates of overseas MBA courses. Most of them are sufficiently experienced. Improvement of quality among top managers is a recent phenomenon in Mexico, and has been encouraged mainly by the following two factors. First, globalization of business activities was promoted by intense competition among firms under conditions of market liberalization. In order to equip themselves with the ability to cope with the globalization of their operations, large family businesses tried hard to improve the quality of top management, by training and educating existing managers, and/or by recruiting managers in the outside labor market. Second, developments in the Mexican economy during the 1990s led to a growth in the labor market for top managers Thus, business restructuring caused by bankruptcy, as well as mergers and acquisitions, privatization and so on, led to the dismissal of business managers who then entered the labor market in large numbers. The increasing presence of these managers in the labor market helped family businesses to recruit well-qualified senior executives.
    Keywords: Family business, Ownership, Management, Managers, Mexico, Family concern, Large-scale enterprises, Industrial management
    JEL: K22 L22 M12 M13
    Date: 2006–10

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