nep-knm New Economics Papers
on Knowledge Management and Knowledge Economy
Issue of 2008‒06‒07
27 papers chosen by
Laura Stefanescu
European Research Centre of Managerial Studies in Business Administration

  1. Local Knowledge Spillovers, Innovation and Economic Performance in Developing Countries: A discussion of alternative specifications By Kesidou, Effie; Szirmai, Adam
  2. Cluster Development and Knowledge Exchange in Supply Chain By Pradorn Sureephong; Nopasit Chakpitak; Laurent Buzon; Abdelaziz Bouras
  3. An Ontology-based Knowledge Management System for Industry Clusters By Pradorn Sureephong; Nopasit Chakpitak; Yacine Ouzrout; Abdelaziz Bouras
  4. Knowledge Management through the Lens of Innovation and Labour Productivity in a Knowledge Based Economy By Constantinescu, Madalina
  5. Knowledge Economics: Improving Theoretical Framework of Knowledge Transfer By Khumalo, Bhekuzulu
  6. Short and long Term behavior of Knowledge By Khumalo, Bhekuzulu
  7. Foreign Subsidiaries in the East German Innovation System – Evidence from Manufacturing Industries By Jutta Günther; Björn Jindra; Johannes Stephan
  8. Rural innovation systems and networks: Findings from a study of Ethiopian smallholders By Spielman, David J.; Davis, Kristin E.; Negash, Martha; Ayele, Gezahegn
  9. Crossover Inventions And Knowledge Diffusion Of General Purpose Technologies? Evidence From The Electrical Technology By Shih-tse Lo; Dhanoos Sutthiphisal
  10. Managing a Societies Knowledge base A look at Opportunity Costs By Khumalo, Bhekuzulu
  11. Agglomeration Economies and Clustering – Evidence from German Firms By Kurt A. Hafner
  12. HRM Practices and Knowledge Processes Outcomes: Empirical Evidence from a Quasi-Experiment on UK SMEs in the Tourism Hospitality and Leisure Sector By Andreas Georgiadis; Christos N. Pitelis
  13. Who Gets the Money? The Dynamics of R&D Project Subsidies in Germany By Aschhoff, Birgit
  14. Defensive strategies in the quality ladders By Ivan Ledezma
  15. How Regular Business Has Becomes Mobile Business. A Mobile Agent Approach By Stefănescu, Andy
  16. Effects of management control systems on commitment in inter-organizational relationships By Juan M. Ramon-Jeronimo; M. Concepcion Alvarez-Dardet Espejo; David Naranjo-Gil
  17. Towards A Competitive Manufacturing Sector By Rajiv Kumar; Abhijit Sen Gupta
  18. Competition and Innovation: An Experimental Investigation By Dario Sacco; Armin Schmutzler
  19. Entrepreneurship, Innovation and Economic Growth:The Case of Yangtze River Delta in China By Zheng, Jianghuai; Hu, Zhining; Wang, Jialing
  20. Localized Innovation, Localized Diffusion and the Environment: An Analysis of CO2 Emission Reductions by Passenger Cars, 2000-2007 By Bart Los; Bart Verspagen
  21. Firm Concentration,Technology Promotion and Economic Performance:An Empirical Study on the Nature and Dynamics of Industrial Clusters in China’s Development Zones along the Down Reaches of Yangtze River By ZHENG , Jianghuai; GAO, Yanyan; Hu, Xiaowen
  22. How change agents and social capital influence the adoption of innovations among small farmers: Evidence from social networks in rural Bolivia By Monge, Mario; Hartwich, Frank; Halgin, Daniel
  23. IT Training and Employability of Older Workers By Schleife, Katrin
  24. The Role of Firm Size in Training Provision Decisions: evidence from Spain By Laia Castany
  25. Compétition pour les paiements : une titanomachie revisitée par la modélisation multi-agents By Sandra Deungoue
  26. New Workplace Practices and Firm Performance: A Comparative Study of Italy and Britain By Cristini, Annalisa; Pozzoli, Dario
  27. On Factors explaining Organizational Innovation and its Effects By Koson Sapprasert

  1. By: Kesidou, Effie (Nottingham University Business School); Szirmai, Adam (UNU-MERIT)
    Abstract: This paper examines the importance of local knowledge spillovers for the innovative and economic performance of firms in a developing country context. Theoretical and empirical studies in advanced economies underline the significance of local knowledge spillovers for innovation. However, not much is known about whether local knowledge spillovers work similarly in developing countries. This analysis is based on an original innovation survey in the software industry in Uruguay. The survey focuses on the direct identification and measurement of local knowledge spillovers; pure knowledge spillovers are distinguished from commercial knowledge transactions. Both knowledge spillovers and knowledge transactions are measured at the local and at the international level. The study concludes that local knowledge spillovers play a crucial role in enhancing the innovative performance of software firms in Uruguay. However, for the economic performance of the firms, international knowledge transactions turn out to be more important than local knowledge spillovers. Local Knowledge Spillovers may be essential for innovation, but not sufficient for economic success. Firms in developing countries need to be connected to both the local and the international economy.
    Keywords: local knowledge spillovers, innovation, economic performance, developing economies
    JEL: L86 O31 O33
    Date: 2008
  2. By: Pradorn Sureephong (LIESP - Laboratoire d'Informatique pour l'Entreprise et les Systèmes de Production - Université Claude Bernard - Lyon I - Université Lumière - Lyon II - Institut National des Sciences Appliquées de Lyon, CAMT - College of Arts, Media and Technology - Chiang Mai University); Nopasit Chakpitak (CAMT - College of Arts, Media and Technology - Chiang Mai University); Laurent Buzon (LIESP - Laboratoire d'Informatique pour l'Entreprise et les Systèmes de Production - Université Claude Bernard - Lyon I - Université Lumière - Lyon II - Institut National des Sciences Appliquées de Lyon); Abdelaziz Bouras (LIESP - Laboratoire d'Informatique pour l'Entreprise et les Systèmes de Production - Université Claude Bernard - Lyon I - Université Lumière - Lyon II - Institut National des Sciences Appliquées de Lyon)
    Abstract: Industry cluster and supply chain are in focus of every countries which rely on knowledge-based economy. Both focus on improving the competitiveness of firm in the industry in the different aspect. This paper tries to illustrate how the industry cluster can increase the supply chain performance. Then, the proposed methodology concentrates on the collaboration and knowledge exchange in supply chain. For improving the capability of the proposed methodology, information technology is applied to facilitate the communication and the exchange of knowledge between the actors of the supply chain within the cluster. The supply chain of French stool producer was used as a case study to validate the methodology and to demonstrate the result of the study.
    Keywords: Knowledge engineering, Logistics, Knowledge Exchange
    Date: 2008–03–18
  3. By: Pradorn Sureephong (LIESP - Laboratoire d'Informatique pour l'Entreprise et les Systèmes de Production - Université Claude Bernard - Lyon I - Université Lumière - Lyon II - Institut National des Sciences Appliquées de Lyon, CAMT - College of Arts, Media and Technology - Chiang Mai University); Nopasit Chakpitak (CAMT - College of Arts, Media and Technology - Chiang Mai University); Yacine Ouzrout (LIESP - Laboratoire d'Informatique pour l'Entreprise et les Systèmes de Production - Université Claude Bernard - Lyon I - Université Lumière - Lyon II - Institut National des Sciences Appliquées de Lyon); Abdelaziz Bouras (LIESP - Laboratoire d'Informatique pour l'Entreprise et les Systèmes de Production - Université Claude Bernard - Lyon I - Université Lumière - Lyon II - Institut National des Sciences Appliquées de Lyon)
    Abstract: Knowledge-based economy forces companies in the nation to group together as a cluster in order to maintain their competitiveness in the world market. The cluster development relies on two key success factors which are knowledge sharing and collaboration between the actors in the cluster. Thus, our study tries to propose knowledge management system to support knowledge management activities within the cluster. To achieve the objectives of this study, ontology takes a very important role in knowledge management process in various ways; such as building reusable and faster knowledge-bases, better way for representing the knowledge explicitly. However, creating and representing ontology create difficulties to organization due to the ambiguity and unstructured of source of knowledge. Therefore, the objectives of this paper are to propose the methodology to create and represent ontology for the organization development by using knowledge engineering approach. The handicraft cluster in Thailand is used as a case study to illustrate our proposed methodology.
    Keywords: Ontology, Knowledge Management System, Industry Clusters
    Date: 2007–08–07
  4. By: Constantinescu, Madalina
    Abstract: The 21st century brings along the recognition for the necessity to understand and measure the activity of knowledge management, for which reason organizations and system organizations, together with decisional governmental factors, do their best in order to develop policies that would promote these benefits. Knowledge management (KM) implies any activity regarding the capture and the diffusion of knowledge within the organization. In our study we analyze the impacts and dimensions of KM upon the innovation and labour productivity within the organization, and how KM affects the firm’s innovative performance. A key component of knowledge management is to provide access to stored knowledge components to improve decision making and to facilitate knowledge acquisition by the user.
    Keywords: knowledge-based economy; knowledge management; knowledge; explicit and implicit knowledge; innovation; productivity; diffusion of knowledge.
    JEL: A12 N00 O32 O31 D24 L60
    Date: 2008–06–02
  5. By: Khumalo, Bhekuzulu
    Abstract: This paper we seek to develop a knowledge transfer model from knowledge economic theory. Knowledge transfer is accepted as the end of the cycle in the knowledge process it is therefore important to have a knowledge transfer model from existing knowledge economic theory. Endeavoring to build this model the paper at firsts looks at the concept of knowledge transfer and then the model is built. The model is built on the fundamentals of time, of the properties of knowledge in the short and long term, very distinct properties, it is a step in the right direction.
    Keywords: knowledge economics; knowledge transfer; knowledge properties; knowledge economics; risk;
    JEL: D81 A20 C02 D80 C60
    Date: 2008–04
  6. By: Khumalo, Bhekuzulu
    Abstract: This paper explores the behaviour of knowledge in the short and long term. Knowledge behaves very different in the short term than in the long term. Once we can measure knowledge it is then possible to look at its behaviour, an impossibility if there where no theory formulated to measure knowledge. Once we can measure, humans can attempt to put knowledge in formulae that make sense. This paper is a follow up to the previous papers, written by the same author. These papers being “The Fundamental theory of Knowledge”, “Point X and the Economics of Knowledge”, and “Measuring a societies Knowledge Base”. The paper is a consistent follow up from the basic theories of knowledge that where developed in those papers, keeping knowledge simply in the scientific realm, as any science should attempt, if economics is a science then its aim is truly to measure economic phenomenon, otherwise economics remains in the realm of art and philosophy where anything goes. Measuring means we can manage. Knowing the long and short term behaviour of knowledge means that societies will be better placed to manage knowledge. The short term though is much easier to manage than the long term, but then again this is a known fact take care of the pennies and the pounds will look after themselves, meaning take care of the small things and the big things will be easier to look after. This paper allows us to understand knowledge in a deeper way than before.
    Keywords: knowledge Economics; short term; long term; systems potential; short long term equilibrium; singularity; point x; point u; exponential;
    JEL: E0 O11 O30 A20 C02 D80 A10
    Date: 2008–12
  7. By: Jutta Günther; Björn Jindra; Johannes Stephan
    Abstract: This paper analyses the extent of technological capability of foreign subsidiaries located in East Germany, and looks at the determinants of foreign subsidiaries’ technological sourcing behaviour. The theory of international production underlines the importance of strategic and regional level variables. However, existing empirical approaches omit by and large regional level factors. We employ survey evidence from the “FDI micro data- base” of the IWH, that was only recently made available, to conduct our analyses. We find that foreign subsidiaries are above average technologically active in comparison to the whole East German manufacturing. This can be partially explained by the industrial structure of foreign direct investment. However, only a limited share of foreign subsidiaries with R&D and/or innovation activity source technological knowledge from the East German innovation system. If a subsidiary follows a competence augmenting strategy or does local trade, it is more likely to source technological knowledge locally. The endowment of a region with human capital and a scientific infrastructure has a positive effect too. The findings suggest that foreign subsidiaries in East Germany are only partially linked with the regional innovation system. Policy implications are discussed.
    Keywords: East Germany, Regional Innovation System, Foreign Direct Investment
    JEL: O30 O38 F20
    Date: 2008–06
  8. By: Spielman, David J.; Davis, Kristin E.; Negash, Martha; Ayele, Gezahegn
    Abstract: "Agriculture in Ethiopia is changing. New players, relationships, and policies are influencing how smallholders access and use information and knowledge. Although this growing complexity suggests opportunities for Ethiopian smallholders, too little is known about how these opportunities can be effectively leveraged to promote pro-poor processes of rural innovation. This paper examines Ethiopia's smallholder agricultural sector to provide qualitative insights into the interactions between smallholders and other actors in the agricultural sector and the contribution those interactions make to the smallholders' innovation processes. Case studies of smallholder innovation networks in 10 communities suggest that public sector extension and administration exert a strong influence over smallholders' access to knowledge and information relative to market or civil society actors. Given the priority the Ethiopian government has placed on improving rural welfare by increasing market access among smallholders, the findings of this study may suggest the need to further explore policies and programs that create more space for market and civil society actors to participate in smallholder innovation networks." from Author's Abstract
    Keywords: Agricultural development, Innovation, technology, Social networks, Social learning,
    Date: 2008
  9. By: Shih-tse Lo; Dhanoos Sutthiphisal
    Abstract: Scholars have long noted the significant impact of general purpose technologies (GPTs) on the economy. However, limited attention has been paid to exploring how they are employed to generate inventions in downstream sectors (crossover inventions), and what factors may facilitate such diffusion. We study these issues by examining the introduction of one of the widely regarded GPTs -- electrical technology -- in the late 19th century U.S. We find that knowledge spillovers between industries (inter-industry spillovers and learning-by-using) had little influence on the geography of crossover inventions as well as the speed and productivity of inventors at making them. Instead, appropriate human capital and an environment promoting inventions in general played a more important role.
    JEL: N0 O3
    Date: 2008–05
  10. By: Khumalo, Bhekuzulu
    Abstract: As explained in the paper namely, “Measuring a Societies Knowledge base”, it is not difficult to measure the knowledge base of a society, though it would be very laborious and time consuming. Knowledge is simply all the laws of existence a society knows plus all the products that a society creates. Each law that a society knows was given the symbol of point X and each product that a society made was given the symbol point U. Point U being a derivative of the laws of existence that we know. Every product in existence represents a point U, and every product is a derivation of what we understand about the laws of existence. We make spoons out of steel, wood, or plastic rather than cotton, paper, or mercury because of the properties that human beings understand the different materials. From the most simple point U to the most complex, all are derivatives of laws of existence that humans understand. From a simple point U like a tooth pick made of thorns to the most complex such as a nuclear powered submarine, all are derived from what human beings understand about the materials.
    Keywords: point X; point U; opportunity Cost; managing knowledge; choice; incentive
    JEL: D81 A20 O22 A10 O21
    Date: 2007–10
  11. By: Kurt A. Hafner
    Abstract: The paper quantifies the impact of agglomeration economies on the clustering of German firms. Therefore, I use the 2006 Innobarometer survey, which focuses on cluster characteristics and activities of German firms, to empirically identify agglomeration economies derived from the New Economic Geography and Marshall externalities. At the industry specific level, I find that within-industry spillovers are important for German low-tech firms but not for high-tech firms or knowledge intensive firms. At the department level, Marshall externalities such as hiring skilled labor and technological spillover effects are empirically confirmed for some departments like Human Resources or R&D but rarely for others like Production.
    Keywords: Agglomeration Economies, New Economic Geography, Externalities, Cluster
    JEL: C20 D21 F12 R12
    Date: 2008–05–08
  12. By: Andreas Georgiadis; Christos N. Pitelis
    Abstract: This paper presents empirical evidence of the relationship between human resources practicesand the effectiveness of a firm to capitalise on investment in knowledge as measured by thereturns to innovation and business development expenditure. The empirical design is basedon exploiting a natural experiment provided by a policy intervention that offers humanresources-related support to small and medium sized enterprises in the UK TourismHospitality and Leisure sector. Our findings suggest that businesses that receive support onthe area of staff training and development, in HR planning and in staff recruitment andretention generate 100%, 86% and 134% more revenue per pound spend on innovation andbusiness development compared to firms that do not receive such services. Thus, in contrastto existing empirical studies in the field, this evidence supports a strong causal link betweenhuman resources and knowledge processes and sheds some light on the "black box" thatdescribes the strategic logic between human resource management and firm performance.
    Keywords: Human resources, innovation and business development expenditure, policy evaluation
    JEL: M12 M50
    Date: 2008–02
  13. By: Aschhoff, Birgit
    Abstract: The question of the allocation of public R&D funding is becoming particularly important when it comes to identifying the effects of state subsidies, in terms of input or output additionality. This analysis goes one important step further than the existing literature by including the time dimension. Using firm-level data on German manufacturing and knowledge-intensive service firms, this paper sheds light on the structure of the subsidy recipients over time. It turns out that participation in the funding scheme is quite stable. This is also confirmed by applying a multivariate approach. Firms having received funding in the past are more likely to be selected for public funding again. It is also important to control for the overall supply of subsidies. Besides, a firm’s size and knowledge capabilities increase the probability of entering the scheme.
    Keywords: R&D, Public Subsidies, Program Participation, Germany
    JEL: C20 H32 O38
    Date: 2008
  14. By: Ivan Ledezma
    Abstract: This paper studies theoretically and empirically the consequences of defensive strategies in R&D races. Using a quality ladders model we allow for endogeneous incumbent R&D advantages explained by strategies seeking to limit knowledge diffusion. Market institutions appear to be crucial to foster aggregate R&D intensity and to determine who innovates. Regulatory provisions reducing the possibilites of defensive strategies in the process of production may indeed increase the incentives to carry out R&D. This effect is more likely to be observed when the size of innovation is high. Using time-series cross-section data of manufacturing industries among 17 OECD countries we test the relationship between regulation and R&D expenditure over value added. We allow for a differentiated effect of regulation for industries producing and using ICT. The evidence is consistent with the model's predictions.
    Date: 2008
  15. By: Stefănescu, Andy
    Abstract: The age of static business and slow information flow, when most decision was based on day-or week-old data, has come to an end. Now new technology helps organizations provide a more agile, flexible approach to business that was not technologically available five years ago. As a result, organizations are paying more attentions to supporting business process with the ability to adapt to the dynamic environment. This paper describes how the action of mobile agent enabled decision support in conjunction with the organizational trends, enables new practice in the field of e-Business. This is done to understand the magnitude of the e-business context problem and to suggest possible ways around the problem when building mobile agents. Therefore, a mobile agent approach is proposed in this paper to offer solution for mobile business and to manage complex business activities.
    Keywords: mobile agent; mobile technologies; mobility; business
    JEL: M21
    Date: 2008
  16. By: Juan M. Ramon-Jeronimo (Department of Business Administration, Universidad Pablo de Olavide); M. Concepcion Alvarez-Dardet Espejo (Department of Business Administration, Universidad Pablo de Olavide); David Naranjo-Gil (Department of Business Administration, Universidad Pablo de Olavide)
    Abstract: This paper analyses how ex-ante control mechanisms and management control information affect commitment in buyer-supplier relationships. Using survey data from 191 purchasing and sales managers of original equipment manufacturers, this study examines five characteristics of management control information (scope, timeliness, aggregation, integration and symmetry), and two dimensions of ex-ante control mechanisms (coordination and influence). The analysis shows differences between purchasing manager–supplier relationships and sales manager–industrial client relationships. In both dyads coordination and timeliness increase commitment; in the latter, broad scope and partner influence also affect commitment.
    Keywords: Management control information sharing, control mechanisms, commitment.
    Date: 2008–05
  17. By: Rajiv Kumar (Indian Council for Research on International Economic Rela); Abhijit Sen Gupta (Indian Council for Research on International Economic Rela)
    Abstract: The Indian manufacturing sector has grown at an impressive average rate of 9.5 per cent annually since 2003-04. Its sustained growth is crucial for generating employment opportunities needed to absorb the rapidly expanding workforce. In this context, this paper reviews the current state of the sector and focuses on determinants of its competitiveness. The paper finds that Indian manufacturing sector exhibits a great deal of regional variation and a marked dualism between the organized and the unorganized segments in terms of both productivity and wage levels. The level of labour absorption in the organized manufacturing sector has been weak as reflected in the declining labour intensity in this sector. This does not augur well for achieving inclusive growth. We also find that although there have been significant changes in the composition of exports in the last 20 years; India is still a very small player at the global level, especially in knowledge intensive and advanced technology products. Finally, the paper explores India's potential for transforming itself into a hub of mass manufacturing. We find that the main constraints in doing so have been the low level of R&D, relative lack of skilled personnel and relatively low FDI levels.
    Keywords: manufacturing, competitiveness, mass manufacturing
    JEL: L60 O11
    Date: 2008–01
  18. By: Dario Sacco (Socioeconomic Institute, University of Zurich); Armin Schmutzler (Socioeconomic Institute, University of Zurich)
    Abstract: The paper analyzes the effects of more intense competition on firms’ incentives to invest in process innovations. We carry out experiments based on two-stage games, where R&D investment choices are followed by product market competition. As predicted by theory, an increase in the number of firms from two to four reduces investments. However, a positive effect is observed for a switch from Cournot to Bertrand, even though theory predicts a negative effect in the four-player case.
    Keywords: R&D investment, intensity of competition, experiment
    JEL: C92 L13 O31
    Date: 2008–05
  19. By: Zheng, Jianghuai; Hu, Zhining; Wang, Jialing
    Abstract: This paper firstly discusses why the economic growth in the Yangtze River Delta has been slowed down recently and suggests a need totransform the current input-based economic growth pattern into aninnovation-based one. Next, through our theoretical analysis, we find that the change of current economic growth pattern is just the innovative reallocationof production factors, and the new economic growth driven by innovation is mainly initiated by the transmutation of entrepreneurship. Finally, we test our belief with real-world evidence. It shows that the Delta has formed a mechanism in which entrepreneurship and human capital mutually promote each other. However, the interactive relationship between R&D expenditure and entrepreneurship has not been developed in general. In addition, excessive government interventions will do harm to the growth of entrepreneurs and economic development.
    Keywords: entrepreneurship; innovation and economic growth pattern
    JEL: O31
    Date: 2008–01–07
  20. By: Bart Los (Faculty of Economics and Business, University of Groningen); Bart Verspagen (Centre for Technology, Innovation and Culture, University of Oslo)
    Abstract: We investigate technological change with regard to CO2 emissions by passenger cars, using a Free Disposal Hull methodology to estimate technological frontiers. We have a sample of cars available in the UK market in the period 2000 – 2007. Our results show that the rates of technological change (frontier movement) and diffusion (distance to frontier at the car brand level) differ substantial between segments of the car market. We conclude that successful policies should be aimed at diffusion of best-practice technology, and take account of the different potential for further progress between different segments of the market (e.g., diesel and gasoline engines, and small vs. large engines).
    Date: 2008–05
  21. By: ZHENG , Jianghuai; GAO, Yanyan; Hu, Xiaowen
    Abstract: Based on micro-firm data of development zones in Jiangsu Province along the Yangtze River, the effects of local factors special to development zones and of technology promotion on firm’s performance are tested, from which we try to illustrate the nature and dynamics of industrial clusters built on development zones. The results show that the primary reasons firms locate into development zones are not clustering benefits in general meaning brought by interactions among firms locally concentrated, but are the attraction of “policy rents” and the scale economy of infrastructure brought by government behaviors. Once located in the zone, the firm is doom to interact with local government as well as industry-related factors, and the clustering effects may emerge. Thus, the key to keep development zones’ competition sustainable, when governments’ bidding wars and policy adjustment fade away “policy rents” and scale economy of infrastructure, is to cultivate clustering effects.
    Keywords: Development Zones along Yangtze River; Firms’ Spatial Concentration; Industrial Clustering Effects; Technology Promotion; Policy Rents
    JEL: R53 R58 R30 R50 O53
    Date: 2008–02
  22. By: Monge, Mario; Hartwich, Frank; Halgin, Daniel
    Abstract: "This paper presents results from a study that identified patterns of social interaction among small farmers in three agricultural subsectors in Bolivia—fish culture, peanut production, and quinoa production—and analyzed how social interaction influences farmers' behavior toward the adoption of pro-poor innovations. Twelve microregions were identified, four in each subsector, setting the terrain for an analysis of parts of social networks that deal with the diffusion of specific sets of innovations. Three hundred sixty farmers involved in theses networks as well as 60 change agents and other actors promoting directly or indirectly the diffusion of innovations were interviewed about the interactions they maintain with other agents in the network and the sociodemographic characteristics that influence their adoption behavior. The information derived from this data collection was used to test a wide range of hypotheses on the impact that the embeddedness of farmers in social networks has on the intensity with which they adopt innovations. Evidence provided by the study suggests that persuasion, social influence, and competition are significant influences in the decisions of farmers in poor rural regions in Bolivia to adopt innovations. The results of this study are meant to attract the attention of policymakers and practitioners who are interested in the design and implementation of projects and programs fostering agricultural innovation and who may want to take into account the effects of social interaction and social capital. Meanwhile, scholars of the diffusion of innovations may find evidence to further embrace the complexity and interdependence of social interactions in their models and approaches." from Author's Abstract
    Keywords: Social networks, Agricultural innovation, Change agent, Social capital,
    Date: 2008
  23. By: Schleife, Katrin
    Abstract: This paper empirically analyzes the relationship between firm-provided IT training and the firm’s proportion of older workers. Using data from the ZEW ICT survey of the years 2004 and 2007, the results show that a firm’s IT intensity plays a crucial role: firms intensively using information technologies employ a significantly smaller proportion of older workers than firms that are less IT-intensive. However, higher participation rates of older workers in IT training are related to a larger proportion of older workers within firms. It turns out that this effect is of particular importance in firms that intensively use IT.
    Keywords: older workers, IT training, information technologies
    JEL: J14 J21 J24
    Date: 2008
  24. By: Laia Castany (Universitat de Barcelona)
    Abstract: The level of training provided by small firms to their employees is below that provided by their larger counterparts. The provision of firm-related training is believed to be associated to certain characteristics of the firm. In this paper we argue that small firms provide fewer training opportunities as they are less likely to be associated with these characteristics than large firms. The suitability of estimating training decisions as a double-decision process is examined here: first, a firm has to decide whether to provide training or not and, second, having decided to do so, the amount of training to provide. The differences in training provision between small and large firms are decomposed in order to analyse the individual contribution of these characteristics to explaining the gap. The results show that small firms face greater obstacles in accessing training and that the main reasons for that are related to their technological activity and the geographical scope of the market in which they operate.
    Keywords: Continuous training, Firm size, Innovative activity
    JEL: J21 L11 M53 L25
    Date: 2008–05
  25. By: Sandra Deungoue (GATE, University of Lyon, CNRS, ENS-LSH, Centre Léon Bérard, France)
    Abstract: The main purpose of this paper is to study the economics of interchange fee in payment card association. The different arrangements for interchange fees and the nosurcharge rule lower the level of competition intensity that would otherwise have occurred and push interchange fees up. In many countries, competition regulators carried out investigations on the lack of transparency and competition in these card-based payment systems, and took measurements for an optimal determination of interchange fees. To help understand and predict the evolution of payment markets, we use an agent-based model that simulates strategic behaviours for different levels of interchange fee. We thus observe the social welfare and the intensity of competition on both the buyer and seller sides of intermediate markets.
    Keywords: agent-based models, payment systems, two-sided markets
    JEL: E47 G21 L16
    Date: 2008
  26. By: Cristini, Annalisa (Department of Economics); Pozzoli, Dario (Department of Economics, Aarhus School of Business)
    Abstract: Using data from the 2004 Workplace Employee Relations Survey on British establishments and two surveys on manufacturing firms located in the North of Italy, we look at the diffusion of new workplace practices in the two countries and at their impact on the firm's value added. We find that the adoption of innovation practices has spread substantially more across the British manufacturing firms than across the Italian ones; however our results also indicate that the practices' association with the firms' VA is much lower in Britain than in Italy. The counterfactual analysis shows that had the Italian workplaces the same characteristics of the British ones, in terms of diffusion of practices, capital intensity and skills, their average predicted value added would triplicate. On the other hand, were the Italian establishments to move and operate in the British context, their performance would improve very modestly. For the British establishments, we also investigate whether management practices improve job satisfaction.
    Keywords: Workplace practices; Financial Performance; Italy; UK
    JEL: C33 J41 J53 L20
    Date: 2008–05–01
  27. By: Koson Sapprasert (Centre for Technology, Innovation and Culture, University of Oslo)
    Abstract: This paper shows how the probability of attempts at organizational innovation and its effects can be explained by firm age and size and other determinants. The integrated firm-level dataset obtained from the latest two Norwegian Community Innovation Surveys (CIS3 & 4) and annual accounts is used to investigate these complex relationships. The analysis employing Heckman two-step estimation to correct potential sample selection bias demonstrates that firm age and size have different impacts on the firm’s decision to undertake organizational innovation and on the effects of such innovation on firm performance. Older and larger firms are found to be more inclined to make an attempt at organizational change; while, concerning the outcome, smaller firms are more able to benefit from such an attempt. The results further reveal that different types of organizational change do foster firm performance where even greater effects can be led by persistence of organizational innovation as well as complementarity of organizational and technological innovation. In addition, it is evidence that past economic performance and high costs of innovation influence the firm’s decision to pursue organizational change.
    Keywords: Organizational Innovation, Age & Size, Structural Inertia, Firm Performance, Complementarity, Persistence.
    JEL: L25 O21 O39
    Date: 2008–06

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