nep-knm New Economics Papers
on Knowledge Management and Knowledge Economy
Issue of 2008‒03‒01
seven papers chosen by
Emanuele Canegrati
Catholic University of the Sacred Heart

  1. Virtual Mentorship as an Advanced Method of Knowledge and Experience Sharing and Network Building By Mislav Ante Omazić; Dario Blažeković
  2. Location Attributes and Start-Ups in Knowledge Intensive Business Services By Andersson, Martin; Hellerstedt, Karin
  3. Knowledge-based productivity in low-tech industries: evidence from firms in developing countries. By Goedhuys, Micheline; Janz, Norbert; Mohnen, Pierre
  4. The Persistent Differentiation - the education commission’s reform work 1724-1778 By Kaiserfeld, Thomas
  5. The Persistence of Differences in Productivity, Wages, Skill Mixes and Profits Between Firms in a Rapidly Changing Environment By Katsuya Takii
  6. What's in a name? An inquiry on the cognitive and entrepreneurial profile of the social entrepreneur By Cools, E.; Vermeulen, S.
  7. Investimento Estrangeiro Direto e Inovação: Um Estudo Sobre Ramos Selecionados da Indústria no Brasil By Marina Filgueiras Jorge

  1. By: Mislav Ante Omazić (Faculty of Economics and Business, University of Zagreb); Dario Blažeković
    Abstract: Access to advanced ideas, specific information, advanced expertise, accumulated experience and applicable knowledge are key competitive determinants of those that want to prosper in knowledge based society. In other words human capital is principal competitive advantage of knowledge based economies. Trends in today’s world are making us rethink the methods of delivering knowledge. In order to answer to those trends and as a proactive effort to foster their global competitiveness top students from two most influenced graduate schools (Faculty of Economics and Business and Faculty Electrical Engineering and Computing both within University of Zagreb) in Croatia gathered within eSTUDENT initiative and they have started project “Virtual Mentorship”. Its primary goal is to initialize and organize cooperation between senior undergraduate students from Croatian universities and acknowledged members of academic society and business world who live abroad but do have originated from Croatia. Purpose of the project is to establish mentor-protégé relationship between these two parties that will enable students to learn and improve their knowledge as well as gain new skills through quality virtual communication with respectable scientists and professionals. This project has a great potential and significance for development of Croatian system of education as well as for improvement of Croatian labor competitiveness in general. Its significance lies primarily on impacts that Virtual Mentorship has on educational system.
    Keywords: mentorship, virtual, knowledge sharing, networking, distance learning
    Date: 2008–01–21
  2. By: Andersson, Martin (CESIS - Centre of Excellence for Science and Innovation Studies, Royal Institute of Technology); Hellerstedt, Karin (JIBS and Centre for Innovation Systems, Entrepreneurship and Growth (CISEG))
    Abstract: We study start-ups in Knowledge Intensive Business Services (KIBS) across regions in Sweden by individuals with a formally recognized capacity to produce and develop advanced business services. The empirical analysis is based on a theoretical framework which emphasizes both supply- and demand-side factors. Supply-side variables pertain to accessibility to knowledge and information upon which a new firm can be established. Demand-side variables refer to market-size and pertain to the ability to recover fixed start-up costs and economize on costs associated with face-to-face interaction. 78 percent of the KIBS founders have prior work experience from business services, suggesting that KIBS start-ups are more frequent in regions where the KIBS sector is already large. Controlling for the stock of potential entrepreneurs and the stock KIBS firms, we show that both supply- and demand-side factors influence KIBS start-up activity. Results are consistent with that KIBS start-ups are stimulated by the simultaneous presence of (i) knowledge resources conducive for the generation and diffusion of knowledge and ideas upon which new firms can be established and (ii) a large market. The findings suggest that the geography of KIBS is shaped in cumulative and self-reinforcing processes, and can explain the tendency of KIBS firms to agglomerate in large city-regions.
    Keywords: knowledge intensive business services; knowledge spillovers; start-ups; entrepreneurship; location
    JEL: L26 L84 R12
    Date: 2008–02–27
  3. By: Goedhuys, Micheline (UNU-MERIT and University of Antwerpen); Janz, Norbert (UNU-MERIT and Aachen University of Applied Sciences); Mohnen, Pierre (UNU-MERIT and University of Maastricht)
    Abstract: Using firm level data from five countries - Brazil, Ecuador, South Africa, Tanzania and Bangladesh - this paper examines the knowledge-based determinants of productivity of firms active in food processing, textiles, and garments and leather products. In particular, it seeks to investigate the importance of various sources of knowledge in explaining productivity in the different industries. The knowledge sources driving productivity performance are very different across sectors. In food processing, firm productivity is most strongly affected by quality of management and foreign ownership linkages. In textiles, firms raise productivity levels by importing new machinery and through research and development. In garments and leather products, R&D and design activities, high quality management and licensing technology from foreign firms are significant productivity determinants. Firms' productivity levels are further depressed by regulatory and financial constraints.
    Keywords: Productivity, Knowledge, R&D, Developing Countries, Food Processing, Textiles, Garments, Leather
    JEL: D24 L66 L67 O14 O31
    Date: 2008
  4. By: Kaiserfeld, Thomas (CESIS - Centre of Excellence for Science and Innovation Studies, Royal Institute of Technology)
    Abstract: The work of the Education Commission from 1745 is one of the more thoroughly studied investigations in Swedish administrative history in general, and the most studied in the Swedish history of education in particular. The aim here is therefore not to provide new empirical results. My hope instead is to be able to provide a different and broader interpretation of its activities than has thus far characterised historical writings on the work of the Commission. As our educational institutions – possibly with the exception of the family in all its various forms – are the most important agents for the vertical or inter-generational transfer of information in Western culture, reforms within this area are extremely valuable for understanding processes of change in our society. Changes to curricula are even more important than the appropriation of new knowledge through the transfer or production of knowledge, for example through research. Changes in education namely create dynamics in one of our most conservative cultural institutions, and are therefore decisive for the development of society in the longer term. For this reason, the battle for the content of education is important, not only for those who conduct it and those affected by it, but also for everyone who has an interest in historical change in general.
    Keywords: education; institutions; institutional change
    JEL: B15
    Date: 2008–02–26
  5. By: Katsuya Takii (Osaka School of International Public Policy (OSIPP))
    Abstract: In this paper, we construct a dynamic assignment model that can provide a unified explanation of persistent differences in productivity, wages, skill mixes and profits between firms in a changing and uncertain environment. Large expected organization capital (firm-specific knowledge) attracts skilled workers, who help to accumulate organization capital. Accumulated large organization capital, in turn, confirms high expectations. This positive feedback brings about persistent differences in these variables in an uncertain environment. We estimate parameters and simulate the model. Our results show that a positive assignment mechanism accounts for a large part of the observed persistence; the difficulty of estimating organization capital plays only an auxiliary role.
    Keywords: Organization Capital, Assignment, Persistence
    JEL: J24 L25
    Date: 2008–02
  6. By: Cools, E.; Vermeulen, S. (Vlerick Leuven Gent Management School)
    Abstract: Given the rise of social enterprises, the aim of this study is to get more insight into what typifies social entrepreneurs. Although entrepreneurship research has a long tradition in the study of the individual entrepreneur, there are not many studies on the profile of the social entrepreneur. Our research wants to extend the existing knowledge about who the entrepreneur is by comparing the cognitive and entrepreneurial profile of different types of entrepreneurs. Our inquiry addresses two main questions: (1) Does the cognitive style of social entrepreneurs differ significantly from the profile of commercial entrepreneurs? (2) Is there a significant difference between the entrepreneurial orientation (EO) of commercial and social firms? The data for this research are collected in two phases using two online surveys. For the cognitive styles (as measured with the Cognitive Style Indicator), we find no significant differences between commercial entrepreneurs (n = 152) and social entrepreneurs (n = 41). Looking at the entrepreneurial orientation of commercial and social enterprises, we find that commercial enterprises score significantly higher on EO than social enterprises. Interestingly, significant differences are found for the innovativeness and risk-taking dimensions of EO, but not for the proactiveness dimension. To conclude, we found that the cognitive-based approach is inadequate to capture the behavioral characteristics of social entrepreneurs within their organization. However, in the environment in which they operate, social entrepreneurs seem to behave differently than commercial entrepreneurs. Implications for further research and for practitioners and policy makers are discussed.
    Keywords: cognitive styles, entrepreneurial orientation, types of entrepreneurs, social entrepreneurship
    Date: 2008–02–11
  7. By: Marina Filgueiras Jorge
    Abstract: A partir da década de 1990, a economia brasileira passou por reformas estruturais e liberalizantes, além de intensa internacionalização produtiva. Este trabalho explora em que medida a maior participação do investimento estrangeiro direto (IED) ajudou ou inibiu o processo de mudança estrutural na indústria, analisando a existência ou não de transbordamento - spillover - de produtividade, a partir da presença de empresas transnacionais em cinco cadeias produtivas selecionadas no período de 1998 a 2003. Por meio da análise de painel com microdados das empresas industriais, os resultados indicaram a existência de vantagens competitivas das empresas transnacionais (ETNs) em relação às empresas locais. Esse diferencial de desempenho, no entanto, não se mostrou uma fonte de transferência de conhecimento tecnológico que pudesse refletir em ganhos de produtividade para as empresas fornecedoras domésticas. Além disso, os efeitos sobre as cadeias produtivas mostraram-se heterogêneos. De modo que esse resultado pode ajudar no desenvolvimento de instrumentos da política industrial seletiva. During the 90s, brazilian economy has passed through structural and liberalizing reforms, besides an intense productive internationalization. This study explores to what extent FDI helped or hindered those structural changes in industry, analyzing whether positive (or negative) productivity spillovers arose from the presence of TNCs affiliates between 1998 and 2003 in some selected industrial chains, as manufacture of electric equipments, manufacture of electronical equipments, manufacture of vehicles, manufacture of pharmaceuticals and manufacture of vegetable oils. The analysis, based on firm-level data from industrial firms and panel data techniques, produces evidences consistent with TNCs affiliates having higher productivity levels than domestic firms. However, this fact did not result in technological knowledge transfer that could reflect in productivity gains for local suppliers in upstream sectors. The results also indicate that spillovers associated with different industrial chains are heterogeneous and that this acknowledge may help the instrument design for industrial policies.
    Date: 2008–02

This nep-knm issue is ©2008 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.
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