nep-knm New Economics Papers
on Knowledge Management and Knowledge Economy
Issue of 2007‒02‒17
ten papers chosen by
Emanuele Canegrati
Catholic University of the Sacred Heart

  1. Intra and Inter-Organizational Knowledge Transfer Processes: Identifying the Missing Links By Markus C. Becker; Mette Præst Knudsen
  2. Do Spillovers Stimulate Incremental or Drastic Product Innovations? Hypotheses and Evidence from German Establishment Data By Jirjahn, Uwe; Kraft, Kornelius
  3. Lost in Translation Empirical Evidence for Liability of Foreignness as a Barrier to Knowledge Spillovers By Schmidt, Tobias; Sofka, Wolfgang
  4. Factors Determining the Mode of Overseas R&D by Multinationals: Empirical Evidence By ITO Banri; WAKASUGI Ryuhei
  5. What Role Does Knowledge of Wildlife Play in Providing Support for Species' Conservation? By Clevo Wilson; Clem Tisdell
  6. Sources of Knowledge and Productivity: How Robust is the Relationship? By Mosahid Khan; Kul B. Luintel
  7. Methodological interactionism: theory and application to the firm and to the building of trust By Nooteboom,Bart
  8. Organization, evolution, cognition and dynamic capabilities By Nooteboom,Bart
  9. The Further the Better? Knowledge Intensive Service Firms' Collaboration on Innovation By Anker Lund Vinding; Ina Drejer
  10. Global Sensing and Sensibility A Multi-Stage Matching Assessment of Competitive Advantage from Foreign Sources of Innovation By Sofka, Wolfgang; Teichert, Thorsten

  1. By: Markus C. Becker; Mette Præst Knudsen
    Abstract: Inspired by the resource- and knowledge-based views, much attention has been focused on knowledge transfer as a process of strategic importance. Still, many open questions regarding knowledge transfer processes need to be addressed to complete our understanding. For instance, what are the barriers to knowledge transfer, and what are the facilitators? A review of the literature reveals that it is divided into two streams: articles on intra-firm knowledge flows and articles on inter-firm knowledge flows. Part of the incompleteness of our understanding of knowledge transfer processes, we argue, derives from the fact that it is unclear in which way intra- and inter-firm knowledge flows are different. The paper investigates three questions: first, how knowledge transfer is defined differently in intra- and inter-firm knowledge flows; second: how barriers to knowledge transfer processes differ; and thirdly: what we need to know to be able to formulate a management view of organizational knowledge flows, whether intra- or inter-organizational. The concluding section argues five research questions whose answers may enable research to formulate a management view of knowledge flows.
    Keywords: Review; internal knowledge flows; external knowledge flows; definition; barriers to knowledge flows
    JEL: D83 L20 L22 O32
    Date: 2006
  2. By: Jirjahn, Uwe; Kraft, Kornelius
    Abstract: We estimate the determinants of various types of product innovation. Knowledge spillovers from rivals have a positive impact on incremental innovations. This impact is largely independent of the participation in R&D cooperations. Spillovers exert no such independent influence on drastic innovation activities. The results support the hypothesis that establishments face difficulties in using knowledge that comes from areas they are not familiar with. Establishments exploit spillovers for incremental innovations rather than for drastic innovations. To a limited degree R&D cooperations can help to overcome the difficulties in using spillovers for drastic innovations. Furthermore, our estimates provide evidence that a firm’s own R&D effort and the use of outside information are substitutive.
    Keywords: New Products, Patents, Spillovers, Learning, R&D
    JEL: L15 L60 O31 O32
    Date: 2006
  3. By: Schmidt, Tobias; Sofka, Wolfgang
    Abstract: Entering host country networks of knowledge flows (new competencies, innovative technologies, and lead-market knowledge) is a major rationale of multinational firms for investing abroad. Foreign firms find it difficult to overcome cultural and social barriers which make their foreign engagements more strenuous and error prone (liability of foreignness). In our analysis we break down the complex mechanisms behind knowledge spillovers and identify conceptual links with liability of foreignness. We hypothesise that liability of foreignness acts as a filter for foreign firms, restricting their access to host country knowledge. We use a broad sample of roughly 1,000 firms in Germany to empirically test the existence of liabilities of foreignness in leveraging knowledge spillovers. Our particular setting allows us to distinguish between upstream (suppliers, academia) and downstream (customers) liabilities of foreignness. We find that multinational firms can compete on an equal footing with host country rivals when it comes to generating impulses for innovations from suppliers and academia. They are significantly challenged by liabilities of foreignness, though, where customers are involved. We suggest that the frictional losses from a lack of social and cultural embeddedness (liability of foreignness) in the host country are especially relevant when promising lead customers have to be identified and their tacit and often unarticulated impulses have to be transferred, understood and prioritised.
    Keywords: Liability of foreignness, knowledge spillover, globalisation, trivariate probit
    JEL: D83 F23 O31 O32
    Date: 2006
  4. By: ITO Banri; WAKASUGI Ryuhei
    Abstract: The large expansion of MNCs' overseas R&D is noteworthy. This paper investigates the factors affecting the expansion of support-oriented R&D and knowledge sourcing R&D by using qualitative data which indicate the modes of R&D conducted at a plant site and a laboratory. The empirical results suggest that (1) the export propensity of affiliate firms, relative abundance of human resources for R&D, and accumulated technological knowledge have a positive effect on both the modes of R&D at a plant site and a laboratory, and (2) the stronger enforcement of intellectual property positively affects the expansion of knowledge sourcing R&D. These results show that not only firm-specific but also country-specific factors positively affect the overseas expansion of R&D.
    Date: 2007–02
  5. By: Clevo Wilson; Clem Tisdell (School of Economics and Finance, Queensland University of Technology)
    Abstract: Conservation of biodiversity is a complex issue. Apart from the creation of nature reserves, there is a plethora of other factors that are part of this complex web. One such factor is the public knowledge of species. Since public funding is imperative for the conservation of species and creation of reserves for them, it is important to determine the public’s awareness of species and their knowledge about them. In the absence of such awareness and knowledge, it is possible that the public will misallocate their support. In other words, resources may be provided for species that do not need support urgently. We show how availability of balanced information about species helps the public to make rational decisions and to allocate support (e.g. monetary) to species that need it most. Other implications of a ‘wildlife knowledgeable’ public are also discussed.
    Keywords: Biodiversity, conservation, Australia’s tropical wildlife, public knowledge, balanced information.
  6. By: Mosahid Khan; Kul B. Luintel
    Abstract: We estimate domestic productivity relationships for a sample of 16 OECD countries through probably the most general specification yet. We identify ten key determinants of productivity - all derived from different theoretical models. Our specification may address the potential problem of omitted variables. The issues of cross-country heterogeneity and endogeneity are addressed. The sources of knowledge appear robust in driving productivity; however, other determinants postulated by different theoretical models are also significant. The productivity relationships are heterogeneous across OECD countries implying that country-specific factors may play an important role in domestic productivity policy. <P>Quelle est la robustesse de la relation entre sources de connaissances et productivité ? <BR>Nous estimons des relations concernant la productivité intérieure pour un échantillon de 16 pays de l'OCDE, en utilisant une spécification qui est probablement la plus générale ayant été employée jusqu'ici. Nous identifions dix déterminants essentiels de la productivité, tous obtenus à partir de modèles théoriques différents. Notre spécification peut permettre de remédier au problème potentiel soulevé par l'omission de certaines variables. Les problèmes d'hétérogénéité entre pays et d'endogénéité sont également traités. La relation de détermination existant entre les sources de connaissances et la productivité semble robuste, mais d'autres déterminants retenus par différents modèles théoriques jouent également un rôle significatif. Les relations concernant la productivité sont hétérogènes entre les pays de l'OCDE, ce qui tend à indiquer que des facteurs nationaux spécifiques peuvent jouer un rôle important dans la politique relative à la productivité intérieure.
    Keywords: productivité multifactorielle, dynamic heterogeneity, methods of moments
    JEL: C15 F12 F2 O3 O4
    Date: 2006–07–28
  7. By: Nooteboom,Bart (Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research)
    Abstract: Recent insights from the 'embodied cognition' perspective in cognitive science, supported by neural research, provide a basis for a 'methodological interactionism' that transcends both the methodological individualism of economics and the methodological collectivism of (some) sociology, and is consistent with insights from social psychology. It connects with a Mengerian exchange perspective and Hayekian view of dispersed knowledge from Austrian economics. It provides a basis for a new, unified social science that integrates elements from economics, sociology, social psychology and cognitive science. This paper discusses the roots of this perspective, in theory of cognition and meaning, and illustrates its application in a summary of a social-cognitive theory of the firm and an analysis of processes by which trust is built up and broken down.
    Keywords: methodology;philosophy of economics;theory of the firm;trust
    JEL: A14 D01 D21 D63 D74 L22 M14 Z13 B25
    Date: 2007
  8. By: Nooteboom,Bart (Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research)
    Abstract: Using insights from 'embodied cognition' and a resulting 'cognitive theory of the firm', I aim to contribute to the further development of evolutionary theory of organizations, in the specification of organizations as 'interactors' that carry organizational competencies as 'replicators', within industries as 'populations'. Especially, I analyze how, if at all, 'dynamic capabilities' can be fitted into evolutionary theory. I propose that the prime purpose of an organization is to serve as a cognitive 'focusing device'. Here, cognition has a wide meaning, including perception, interpretation, sense making, and value judgements. I analyse how this yields organizations as cohesive wholes, and differences within and between industries. I propose the following sources of variation: replication in communication, novel combinations of existing knowledge, and a path of discovery by which exploitation leads to exploration. These yield a proposal for dynamic capabilities. I discuss in what sense, and to what extent these sources of variation are 'blind', as postulated in evolutionary theory.
    Keywords: evolutionary economics;organization;cognition;dynamic capabilities
    JEL: D21 L22 O31 B52
    Date: 2007
  9. By: Anker Lund Vinding; Ina Drejer
    Abstract: Three hypotheses in relation to knowledge intensive service firms’ collaboration in relation to development of new services are explored: i) firms with a high level of absorptive capacity are more likely to collaborate on innovation than firms with a relatively low level of absorptive capacity; ii) given that the firms collaborate on innovation, the main innovation partner of knowledge intensive service firms with a high level of absorptive capacity is likely to be located further away than the main innovation partner of firms with a low level of absorptive capacity; and iii) collaboration with distant partners in the innovation process will often be of a more explorative nature than interaction with local partners, thereby associating the innovative output of cross-border collaborations with a higher degree of novelty than collaboration with local/national partners. Hypotheses i and iii are confirmed, whereas the results for hypothesis ii are inconclusive.
    Keywords: Service innovation; absorptive capacity; collaboration
    JEL: O31 L80
    Date: 2006
  10. By: Sofka, Wolfgang; Teichert, Thorsten
    Abstract: We focus on one of the core competitive capabilities of modern firms: the ability to deliver successful innovations in a globalized environment. Companies literally find themselves confronted with a world of ideas. The challenge remains to decide which impulses should be on top of the list and which at the bottom. Given limited resources and substantial investments, betting on the wrong horse can be risky and costly. Theoretically integrated in capability based view of the firm we investigate firms’ capabilities to assimilate, identify and prioritize valuable knowledge across national, cultural and social borders - a competence we call global sensing. We establish an analytical framework to examine whether global sensing activities generate competitive advantage. Consequently, we develop an empirical, multistage evaluation strategy. This strategy rests on a matching approach for a recent, broad sample of almost 1,700 German companies from both services and manufacturing. We find the strongest and most consistent support for global sensing as a strategic enabler for technological leadership. Apart from this strategic advantage we observe that foreign external sources of innovation are generally not superior to domestic ones.
    Keywords: Global innovation, global sensing, capability based view, matching estimation
    JEL: F23 O31 O32
    Date: 2006

This nep-knm issue is ©2007 by Emanuele Canegrati. It is provided as is without any express or implied warranty. It may be freely redistributed in whole or in part for any purpose. If distributed in part, please include this notice.
General information on the NEP project can be found at For comments please write to the director of NEP, Marco Novarese at <>. Put “NEP” in the subject, otherwise your mail may be rejected.
NEP’s infrastructure is sponsored by the School of Economics and Finance of Massey University in New Zealand.