nep-knm New Economics Papers
on Knowledge Management and Knowledge Economy
Issue of 2007‒08‒08
fifteen papers chosen by
Emanuele Canegrati
Catholic University of the Sacred Heart

  1. Logistics Information and Knowledge Management Issues in Humanitarian Aid Organizations By Laan, E.A. van der; Brito, M.P. de; Vermaesen, S.
  2. College Majors and the Knowledge Content of Jobs By James A. Freeman; Barry T. Hirsch
  3. Ethical Issues in Accessing People's Knowledge and Innovations: Need for Revisiting Research Protocols with Specific Reference to Low Cost Health Technologies By Gupta Anil K.
  4. Knowledge flows across European regions By Raffaele Paci; Stefano Usai
  5. Business services and the changing structure of European economic growth By Henk Kox; Luis Rubalcaba
  6. Investigating Managers' Exploration and Exploitation Activities: The Influence of Top-down, Bottom-up, and Horizontal Knowledge Inflows By Mom, T.J.M.; Bosch, F.A.J. van den; Volberda, H.W.
  7. Authority in the Age of Modularity By Stefano Brusoni
  8. The Impact of Cost-Reducing R&D Spillovers on the Ergodic Distribution of Market Structures By Christopher A. Laincz; Ana Rodrigues
  9. Indigenous Knowledge and Innovations for Managing Resources, Institutions and Technologies Sustainably: A Case of Agriculture, Medicinal Plants and Biotechnology By Gupta Anil K.
  10. Innovation Networks of High Tech SMES: Creation of Knowledge but no Creation of Value By Rob Winters; Erik Stam
  11. Fostering national research networks: The case of Turkish coauthorship patterns in the social sciences By Cedric Gossart; Muge Ozman
  12. Reverse Technology Transfer: A Patent Citation Analysis of the European Chemical and Pharmaceutical Sectors By Paola Criscuolo
  13. A Comprehensive Assessment of the Agricultural Extension System in the Philippines: Case Study of LGU Extension in Ubay, Bohol By Saz, Efren B.
  14. Firm Size and Openness: the Driving Forces of University-Industry Collaboration By Roberto Fontana; Aldo Geuna; Mireille Matt
  15. Spillovers, disclosure lags, and incentives to innovate. Do oligopolies over-invest in R&D? By Gianluca Femminis; Gianmaria Martini

  1. By: Laan, E.A. van der; Brito, M.P. de; Vermaesen, S. (Erasmus Research Institute of Management (ERIM), RSM Erasmus University)
    Abstract: In this paper, we assess the need for logistics information and knowledge management in humanitarian aid organizations. To do so, we combine literature sources with an extensive case study that we conducted at M?decins sans Fronti?res?Holland, which is following a trajectory to improve logistics information management within the organization. We observed that logistics information and logistics knowledge management has not yet matured. We indicate how, by making use of knowledge management strategies such as ?personalization? and ?codification?, this can be improved.
    Keywords: Logistics information;Knowledge management;Humanitarian aid organizations;
    Date: 2007–04–20
  2. By: James A. Freeman (Wheaton College); Barry T. Hirsch (Trinity University and IZA)
    Abstract: College students select their majors for a variety of reasons, including expected returns in the labor market. This paper demonstrates an empirical method that links a census of U.S. degrees and fields of study with measures of the knowledge content of jobs. The study combines individual wage and employment data from the Current Population Survey (CPS) with ratings on 27 knowledge content areas from the Occupational Information Network (O*NET), thus providing measures of the economy-wide knowledge content of jobs. Fields of study and the corresponding BA degree data from the Digest of Education Statistics for 1976- 77 through 2001-02 are linked to these 27 content areas. We find that the choice of college major is responsive to changes in the knowledge composition of jobs and, more problematically, the wage returns to types of knowledge. Women’s degree responsiveness to knowledge content appears to be stronger than men’s, but their response to wage returns is weak.
    Keywords: college majors, job knowledge content, occupations, O*NET, returns to schooling
    JEL: J24 I21 J31
    Date: 2007–07
  3. By: Gupta Anil K.
    Abstract: There is a widespread concern all over the world about the emerging tensions in the local, regional and global dialogues on relationship between formal and informal knowledge systems. It is realized that the basic social contract between knowledge producing communities and the knowledge valorizing corporations and professionals needs redefinition. Several professional societies have incorporated discussions on ethical issues in accessing knowledge, innovations and practices of local communities involving use of local biodiversity resources. The situation becomes even more complex when we realize that the healthcare needs of large majority of poor people still are met by their own survival strategies dependent upon use of local knowledge and resources. It is obvious that this knowledge is precious and can generate viable and productive alternatives valued by modern markets. At the same time, it is also true that if this knowledge was sufficiently robust as it stands, the local health conditions would not have been as precarious as these often are in many regions because of nutritional and other economic hardships. The linkage with formal science and technology is therefore vital. The paper deals with four issues: (a) what can we learn from the analysis of a country wide campaign in India on documenting more than 30000 local health traditions maintained by communities and individuals, (b) whether the health priorities and the options for addressing them require new technological and institutional paradigms, (c) how can new partnership between people, professionals, public policy makers and profit-oriented corporations be conceptualized so that not only benefits are shared fairly but also the knowledge systems grow and thrive and (d) what should be the ethical code of conduct guiding the knowledge exchange, value addition and benefit sharing for generating viable health options for knowledge rich, economically poor people. The paper would thus provide an overview of the global debate on this subject and also suggest how an ethnobotanist can become the watchdog of, as well as the advocates for, the interests of healers, herbalists and other traditional knowledge rich communities.
    Date: 2007–07–18
  4. By: Raffaele Paci; Stefano Usai
    Abstract: The recent resurgence of growth studies has clearly established that technological progress and knowledge accumulation are among the most important factors in determining the performance of regional and national economic systems. Nonetheless, few empirical studies have tried to analyse the flows of technology and knowledge across regional economies in Europe due to the lack of adequate indicators. In this paper we propose new evidence on the characteristics of knowledge flows across European regions based on a statistical databank, set up by CRENoS, on regional patenting and citations at the European Patent Office spanning from 1978 to 2004 and classified by ISIC sectors (3 digit). We consider 175 regions of 17 countries in Europe assigning each patent a region according to the place of residence of the inventors; then, we examine in- and out-flows of patent citations as a proxy of knowledge connections, while looking also at their sectoral differences and dynamics through time. The econometric analysis is based on a model where the transmission and exchange of knowledge across regions is mainly affected by geographical distance together with a set of spatial dummy variables. Moreover, we make several controls to check for the robustness of our results with respect to the inclusion of other characteristics of the origin and destination regions (production structure, economic conditions and technological efforts) as well as different estimation methods. The main result is that knowledge flows decrease as the geographical distance between the origin and the destination region increase. Furthermore, knowledge flows tend to be higher among contiguous regions and areas within the same country.
    Date: 2007
  5. By: Henk Kox; Luis Rubalcaba
    Abstract: A pervasive trend that characterised the past two decades of European economic growth is that the share in the economy of commercial services, and particularly business services, grows monotonically, and this mainly to the expensive of the manufacturing sector. The structural shift reflects a changing and increasingly complex social division of labour between economic sectors. The fabric of inter-industry relations is being woven in a new way due to the growing specialisation in knowledge services, the exploitation of scale economies for human capital, lowered costs of outsourcing in-house services, and the growing encapsulation of manufacturing products in a ‘service jacket’. Business services, which inter alia includes the software industry and other knowledge-intensive business services (KIBS), play a key role in many of these processes.<BR> We argue that in recent decades business services contributed heavily to European economic growth, in terms of employment, productivity and innovation. A direct growth contribution stems from the businessservices sector’s own remarkably fast growth, while an indirect growth contribution was caused by the positive knowledge and productivity spill-overs from business services to other industries. The spill-overs come in three forms: from original innovations, from speeding up knowledge diffusion, and from the reduction of human capital indivisibilities at firm level. The external supply of knowledge and skill inputs exploits positive external scale economies and reduces reduces the role of internal (firm-level) scale (dis)economies associated with these inputs. The relatively low productivity growth that characterises some business-services sectors may be a drag on the sector's direct contribution to overall economic growth. The paper argues that there is no reason to expect a "Baumol disease" effect as long as the productivity and growth spill-overs from KIBS to other economic sectors are large enough.<BR> Finally, the paper concludes by pinpointing some policy 'handles' that could be instrumental in boosting the future contibution of business services to overall European economic growth.
    JEL: E32 L2 L8 L16 O3 O4 O52
    Date: 2007–06
  6. By: Mom, T.J.M.; Bosch, F.A.J. van den; Volberda, H.W. (Erasmus Research Institute of Management (ERIM), RSM Erasmus University)
    Abstract: This paper develops and tests hypotheses on the influence of a manager?s knowledge inflows on this manager?s exploration and exploitation activities. Based on a survey among managers of a leading electronics firm, the findings indicate, as expected, that top-down knowledge inflows of a manager positively relate to the extent to which this manager conducts exploitation activities, while they do not relate to a manager?s exploration activities. Furthermore, as expected, bottom-up and horizontal knowledge inflows of a manager positively relate to this manager?s exploration activities, while they do not relate to a manager?s exploitation activities. We contribute to current literature on exploration and exploitation by focusing on the manager level of analysis, and by adding the importance of knowledge flow configurations to the literature on the impact of organizational factors upon exploration and exploitation.
    Keywords: Exploitation;Exploration;Top-down;Bottom-up;Horizontal;Knowledge inflows;Manager-level;
    Date: 2006–12–11
  7. By: Stefano Brusoni (SPRU, University of Sussex, CESPRI & CRORA, Bocconi University)
    Abstract: This paper builds upon on-going research into the organisational implications of 'modularity'. Advocates of modularity argue that the Invisible Hand of markets is reaching activities previously controlled through the Visible Hand of hierarchies. This paper argues that there are cognitive limits to the extent of division of labour: what kinds of problems firms solve, and how they solve them, set limits to the extent of division of labour, irrespective of the extent of the market. This paper analyses the cognitive limits to the division of labour relying on an in-depth case study of engineering design activities. On this basis, this paper explains why co-ordinating increasingly specialised bodies of knowledge, and increasingly distributed learning processes, requires the presence of knowledge integrating firms even in the presence of modular products. Such firms, relying on their wide in-house scientific and technological capabilities, have the 'authority' to identify, propose, and implement solutions to complex problems. In so doing, they co-ordinate networks of suppliers of both components and specialised competencies.
    Keywords: modularity, division of labour limits, knowledge integrating firms
    JEL: L2 O3
    Date: 2007–06–05
  8. By: Christopher A. Laincz (Drexel University); Ana Rodrigues (Autoridade da Concorrência)
    Abstract: We extend the literature on knowledge spillovers between firms by studying a dynamic duopoly model of R&D. Our analysis highlights the previously ignored welfare effects of spillovers through dynamic changes in industry concentration. In addition, we find that the impact of imperfect appropriability of R&D on concentration and welfare depends crucially on the manner in which spillovers are obtained. To date, the analysis of the impact of knowledge spillovers between firms has been largely restricted to static two-stage models (R&D decisions followed by product market decisions). These models generally predict suboptimal R&D expenditures and lower welfare. Such models are silent on the evolution of the market structure, and the resulting welfare implications, because they need to assume initial conditions (symmetry or asymmetry). We find that when spillovers require absorptive capacity investment in own R&D, larger spillovers lead to declines in concentration while rates of innovation increase and welfare rises. In contrast, when spillovers are costlessly obtained increases in the extent of spillovers rates of innovation fall leading to losses in welfare through both reduced consumer surplus and firm values, while the effect on concentration is ambiguous.
    Date: 2007–06
  9. By: Gupta Anil K.
    Abstract: Communities living close to nature invariably evolve a language to understand and interpret the variations and discontinuities in nature. A flower of new colour, an unusually tall plant, an unseasonal germination or an extraordinary fruiting have attracted human attention in every part of the world. Some of these odd plants got selected either for curiosity or for a purposive characteristic and became a local crop variety. Some got analysed for their therapeutic property and became a medicinal plant. Some were combined with other plants, insects, fungi or other materials such as animal urine, milk, minerals or other compounds to develop various kinds of biotechnological products useful as drugs, dyes or derivatives. It is not surprising therefore that civilizational societies whether in Latin America or Asia or Africa have had a tremendously rich knowledge base drawing upon local resources. In this paper, I first discuss the framework in which indigenous knowledge systems for agriculture, medicinal plants and biotechnology can be analysed. In second part, I suggest ways in which policy makers can try to blend the formal and the informal institutional contexts of technological knowledge. Lastly, I suggest some areas for further research, action and policy interventions through cooperative Indo-Brazilian and S African dialogue.
    Date: 2007–07–18
  10. By: Rob Winters (Netherlands Ministry of the Interior and Kingdom Relations); Erik Stam (University of Cambridge, Utrecht University; Max Planck Institute of Economics)
    Abstract: This paper analyses the effects of innovation networks on product and process innovation and sales growth of high technology SMEs. Innovation net- works are positively related to both product and process innovation, i.e. knowledge creation. One exception is the negative effect of innovation networks with suppliers on product innovation. Older SMEs are more product innovative than young SMEs. The positive relation between firm size and (process) innovation, disappears when networks are introduced into the analyses. The general conclusion is that vertical innovation networks remove the effect of firm size on process innovation. In other words, high-tech SMEs can ‘borrow’ size if they co-operate with customers, but especially with suppliers for process innovation. So smallness is not necessarily a disadvantage for innovation, as long as firms cooperate with other organisations. Innovation and networks do not seem to effect value creation, measured as sales growth.
    Keywords: innovation, innovation networks, high tech SMEs, firm growth
    JEL: D21 D83 D85 L25 O31 O32
    Date: 2007–07–31
  11. By: Cedric Gossart (Cankaya University, Department of Economics); Muge Ozman (Science and Technology Policies Research Centre, METU)
    Abstract: We analyse the coauthorship networks of researchers affiliated at universities in Turkey by using two databases: the international SSCI database and the Turkish ULAKBIM database. We find that coauthorship networks are composed largely of isolated groups, permitting little knowledge diffusion. Moreover, there seems to be two disparate populations of researchers. While some scholars publish mostly in the international journals, others target the national audience, and there is very little intersection between the two populations. The same observation is valid for universities, among which there is very little collaboration. Our results point out that while Turkish social sciences and humanities publications have been growing impressively in the last decade, domestic networks to ensure the dissemination of knowledge and of research output are very weak and should be supported by domestic policies.
    Keywords: Research collaboration, coauthorship, networks, research policy.
    Date: 2007–07
  12. By: Paola Criscuolo (SPRU, University of Sussex)
    Abstract: One consequence of the internationalisation of R&D, particularly in high-tech sectors such as chemicals and pharmaceuticals, may be the transfer of foreign technology from the multinational to other firms in its home country. This phenomenon, which may be termed inter-firm reverse technology transfer, has not yet been directly analysed by either the international management literature or the literature on foreign direct investment. But its implications for policy – particularly in Europe – may be significant. Drawing on the evolutionary theory of the multinational, and on the concept of embeddedness, this paper is a first attempt at addressing this issue. We test the hypothesis of inter-firm reverse technology transfer by performing a patent citation analysis on a database of USPTO patents applied for by 24 chemical and pharmaceutical companies over the period 1980-99. Our findings suggest that multinationals act as a channel for the transmission of knowledge developed abroad to other home country firms. These results point to an alternative understanding of foreign direct R&D investment and its implications for both the home country’s technological activity, and its competitive performance in general
    Keywords: Multinational firms; patent citation; embeddedness; international technology transfer
    JEL: F23 L65 O30
    Date: 2007–06–01
  13. By: Saz, Efren B.
    Abstract: Using intensive interviews and observations and secondary data, the study looked at a local government agricultural extension service. It situated the context by describing the agroclimatic, social, and economic conditions of the area including its problems, potentials, and prospects. It also took a closer look at two promising industries in the locality—rice and mango production. The study further took a closer look at the local government agriculture extension service in terms of the nature of services offered vis a vis the needs of the clientele specially of the two industries in focus. An assessment of the service’s resources, competencies, adequacy, timeliness, and quality was also done. Lastly, the study looked at knowledge management using a framework suggested by Dalkir and provided suggestions as to how a poorly equipped agriculture extension service provider such as the Ubay LGU may introduce the concept of knowledge management to make the service more effective and responsive to the peculiarities of the area and people.
    Keywords: rice industry, knowledge management, Ubay, mango industry, Municipal Agriculture Office, local agriculture extension service
    Date: 2007
  14. By: Roberto Fontana (CESPRI, Bocconi University); Aldo Geuna (SPRU, University of Sussex); Mireille Matt (BETA, University of Strasbourg)
    Abstract: A large number of works have studied university-industry relationships either from a qualitative point of view or relying on a case study of a single university. The aim of this paper is to provide some statistical evidence at the cross-country, cross-industry level to verify some of the hypotheses put forward in the qualitative literature. On the basis of the results of the KNOW survey carried out in seven EU countries in 2000, we examine two main issues. First, the contribution made by Public Research Organisations (PROs) to the innovative process of firms is analysed. Second, the existence and the extent of co-operative R&D projects between firms and PROs are examined. A two-equation econometric model evaluates the effect of firm-specific, sector-specific and country-specific factors (such as firm size, appropriation and signalling, searching of knowledge sources, government support) upon the propensity for and the extent of collaborations between PROs and firms. The analysis in this paper provides some preliminary evidence which allows a better understanding of the firm and industry characteristics that affect the contribution of PROs to firms' innovative activities and to their involvement in R&D collaborations with firms. The estimations produce some evidence to highlight how the size of the firm and its openness to the external environment have a significant and important effect on both the extent of and propensity of PRO-firm collaboration.
    Keywords: university-industry relationships, European Public Research Organisations, firm innovation
    JEL: I28 O31
    Date: 2007–06–05
  15. By: Gianluca Femminis (DISCE, Università Cattolica); Gianmaria Martini (Università di Bergamo)
    Abstract: We develop a dynamic duopoly, where firms have to take into account a technological externality, that reduces over time their innovation costs, and an inter-firm spillover, that lowers only the second comer's R&D cost. This spillover exerts its effect after a disclosure lag. We identify three possible equilibria, which are classified, according to the timing of R&D investments, as early, intermediate, and late. The intermediate equilibrium is subgame perfect for a wide parameters range. When the innovation size is large, it implies that the duopolistic market equilibrium involves underinvestment. Hence, even in presence of a moderate degree of inter-firms spillover, the competitive equilibrium calls for public policies aimed at increasing the research activity. When we focus on minor innovations -- the case in which, according to the earlier literature, the market equilibrium underinvests -- our results imply that the policies aimed at stimulating R&D have to be less sizeable than suggested before, despite the presence of an inter-firm spillover.
    Keywords: knowledge spillover, dynamic oligopoly
    JEL: L13 L41 O33
    Date: 2007–06

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