nep-knm New Economics Papers
on Knowledge Management and Knowledge Economy
Issue of 2008‒08‒31
thirteen papers chosen by
Laura Stefanescu
European Research Centre of Managerial Studies in Business Administration

  1. Cooperation networks and innovation: A complex system perspective to the analysis and evaluation of a EU regional innovation policy programme By Russo, Margherita; Rossi, Federica
  2. Resource Co-specialization, Firm Growth, and Organizational Performance: An Empirical Analysis of Organizational Restructuring and IT Implementations By Kim, Sung Min; Mahoney, Joseph T.
  3. Organizational Redesign, Information Technologies and Workplace Productivity By Leonard J. Mirman; Benoit Dostie; Rajshri Jayaraman
  4. Technological Capabilities and Firm Performance: The Case of Small Manufacturing Firms in Japan By Montgomery, David B.; Isobe, Takehiko; Makino, Shige; Lee, Kong Chian
  5. Intra-firm Technology Transfer and R&D in Foreign Affiliates: Substitutes or Complements? Evidence from Japanese Multinational Firms By Belderbos, René; Ito, Banri; Wakasugi, Ryuhei
  6. Entrepreneurship, Spillovers and Productivity Growth in the Small Firm Sector of UK Manufacturing By Hany El Shamy; Paul Temple
  7. The Adoption of New Technologies and the Age Structure of the Workforce By Meyer, Jenny
  8. The globalisation in the clothing sector and its implications for work organisation: a view from the Portuguese case By Moniz, António; Paulos, Margarida Ramires
  9. Is Service Innovation Different? By Aija Leiponen
  10. Industrial Agglomeration, Geographic Innovation and Total Factor Productivity: The Case of Taiwan By Chia-Lin Chang; Les Oxley
  11. THE INDIAN GROWTH MIRACLE AND ENDOGENOUS GROWTH By Jakob B. Madsen; Shishir Saxena; James B. Ang
  12. "Domestic Innovation and Chinese Regional Growth, 1991-2004" By William Latham; Hong Yin
  13. Communication Can Destroy Common Learning By Jakub Steiner; Colin Stewart

  1. By: Russo, Margherita; Rossi, Federica
    Abstract: Recent developments in innovation theory and policy have led policymakers to assign particular importance to supporting networks of cooperation among heterogeneous economic actors, especially in production systems composed of small and medium enterprises. Such innovative policies call for parallel innovations in policy analysis, monitoring and assessment. Our analysis of a policy experiment aimed at supporting innovation networks in the Italian region of Tuscany intends to address some issues connected with the design, monitoring and evaluation of such interventions. Combining tools from ethnographic research and social networks analysis, we explore the structural elements of the policy programme, its macroscopic impact on the regional innovation system, and the success of individual networks in attaining their specific objectives. This innovative approach allows us to derive some general methodological suggestions for the design and evaluation of similar programmes.
    Keywords: Innovation policy; cooperation networks; evaluation; regional development; SMEs production systems; complex systems
    JEL: R58 O38 D78 O32 O31
    Date: 2008–06–26
  2. By: Kim, Sung Min (Loyola U Chicago); Mahoney, Joseph T. (U of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign)
    Abstract: This paper examines the effects of co-specialized information technology (IT) on the growth and performance of IT-investing firms as a driver of competitive advantages. By adopting resource-based and dynamic-capability perspectives on firm-specific IT systems, we first identify the mechanisms of resource co-specialization strategy in the process of IT implementation as organizational restructuring and adaptive customization of IT applications into the context of adopting firms. Then, we examine impacts of the resulting co-specialized IT system on organizational performance. Testable hypotheses are developed to investigate how the co-specialization mechanisms of organizational restructuring and IT customization influence firm growth--in terms of the number of employees, value-added, and revenue. We also examine how co-specialization mechanisms of organizational restructuring and IT customization influence project outcomes -- in terms of project referenceability and license extension measures. These empirical tests control for other contextual factors and the endogeneity of decision variables. Using a unique panel data on 334 firms adopting Advanced Planning and Scheduling (APS)applications, we find strong empirical support for the co-specialization hypothesis that strategic choices of using IT co-specialization mechanisms are positively associated with firm growth and with superior project outcomes in the sample firms.
    Date: 2008
  3. By: Leonard J. Mirman; Benoit Dostie (IEA, HEC Montréal); Rajshri Jayaraman
    Abstract: Using a large longitudinal, nationally representative workplace-level dataset, we explore the productivity gains associated with computer use and organizational redesign. The empirical strategy involves the estimation of a production function, augmented to account for technology use and organizational design, correcting for unobserved heterogeneity. We find large returns associated with computer use. We also find that computer use and organizational redesign may be complements or substitutes in production, and that the productivity gains associated with organizational redesign are industry-specific.
    JEL: D20 L20 M54 O33
    Date: 2008–07
  4. By: Montgomery, David B. (Stanford U); Isobe, Takehiko (Keio U); Makino, Shige (Chinese U of Hong Kong); Lee, Kong Chian
    Abstract: The purpose of this study is to investigate the relationship between technological capabilities and firm performance. We divide technological capabilities into two types – refinement capability, which involves the improvement of the existing asset portfolio, and reconfiguration capability, which involves the restructuring of the asset portfolio through the integration of new assets. The results of an analysis of a sample of 302 small and medium-sized manufacturing firms in Japan suggest that refinement capability relates more positively to operational efficiency than does reconfiguration capability, and that reconfiguration capability relates more positively to strategic performance than does refinement capability. The results also suggest that firms with superior refinement capability tend to possess superior reconfiguration capability. Our findings show that both external and internal factors, such as technological volatility, inter-firm collaboration, and firm age and size, are significantly associated with the level of refinement and reconfiguration capabilities possessed by a firm.
    Date: 2007–12
  5. By: Belderbos, René (Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, UNU-MERIT, and University of Maastricht); Ito, Banri (Research Institute of Economy Trade and Industry (RIETI)); Wakasugi, Ryuhei (Kyoto University, Institute of Economic Research)
    Abstract: R&D in foreign affiliates and technology transferred from their parent firms are important potential drivers of productivity in host countries. In this paper we examine the simultaneous impact of local R&D and intra-firm international technology transfer on productivity growth in foreign affiliates. We estimate a dynamic productivity model on a large sample of Japanese manufacturing affiliates worldwide in 1996-1997 and 1999-2000. We find that both affiliate R&D and intra-firm technology transfer contribute to productivity growth, while technology transfer exhibits decreasing marginal returns. The two sources of technology are complements: use of one source of technology increases the marginal impact of the other.
    Keywords: R&D, technology transfer, multinational firms
    JEL: F23 O32 O33
    Date: 2008
  6. By: Hany El Shamy (University of Surrey); Paul Temple (University of Surrey)
    Abstract: This paper considers the sources of technological change and productivity growth in the small firm sector of UK manufacturing over the period 1973- 2002, focusing on the mechanisms by which spillovers occur between the large firms which perform the bulk of R&D and smaller firms which are the recipients. It is argued that the current volume of domestic R&D generates profitable and high productivity opportunities for smaller firms. However this mechanism ignores the ways in which R&D also contributes to the more general knowledge base available to small firms as codified information which frequently takes the measurable form of industrial standards. A simple model of labour demand among small manufacturing is developed which employs two measures of technological activity intended to capture both these channels. A co-integrating relationship based upon an augmented labour demand equation is established for UK manufacturing, showing the relevance of both channels for the explanation of productivity growth in the small firm sector.
    Keywords: Key Words: Small firms; productivity; technological change; R&D; standards.
    JEL: J23 L25 L26 O32
    Date: 2008–08
  7. By: Meyer, Jenny
    Abstract: This paper provides firm-level evidence for the relationship between the age structure of the workforce and the adoption of new or significantly improved technologies in service sector firms. Furthermore, it closes a research gap by analyzing the joint impact of the age of the workforce and the enhancement of teamwork on the probability of adopting new technologies. The empirical analyses, that are based on a data set of 356 German firms from the knowledge-intensive services and ICT services sector, reveal three findings: Firstly, firms with a higher share of younger employees are more likely to adopt new technologies and the older the workforce is, the less likely is the adoption of new technologies. Secondly, the distribution of the age of the workforce has no significant impact on the probability of adopting new technologies. And thirdly, firms which enhanced their teamwork and have a higher share of younger workers are less likely to adopt new technologies whereas firms that enhanced their teamwork and have a higher share of older employees are more likely to adopt new technologies. Aufgrund der durch einen Anstieg der Lebenserwartung und einen gleichzeitigen Rückgang der Geburtenrate gekennzeichneten demografischen Entwicklung hat sich die Altersstruktur der arbeitenden Bevölkerung verändert. So ist die Beschäftigungsquote der 55-64-jährigen insbesondere in den vergangenen fünf Jahren angestiegen, während gleichzeitig ein Rückgang der Beschäftigungsquote der 15-24-jährigen erfolgt ist. In einer Volkswirtschaft, in der Wissen ein wichtiger Produktionsfaktor ist und Informations und Kommunikationstechnologien (IKT) zur Verarbeitung von Informationen benötigt werden, ist eine effiziente Verzahnung von Humankapital und IKT für den Erfolg und die Wettbewerbsfähigkeit von Unternehmen entscheidend. Mehrere Studien belegen, dass die Wahrscheinlichkeit der Anwendung von IKT bei älteren Arbeitnehmern geringer ausgeprägt ist als bei jüngeren Arbeitnehmern, und erstere hierfür auch weniger qualifiziert sind. Daher stellt sich die Frage, ob Unternehmen aus IKT-intensiven Dienstleistungssektoren, die einen hohen Anteil an älteren Beschäftigten haben, eine geringere Wahrscheinlichkeit des Einsatzes neuer Technologien aufweisen. Die Ergebnisse der vorliegenden Arbeit zeigen, dass Unternehmen, die einen höheren Anteil an jüngeren Beschäftigten haben, eine höhere Wahrscheinlichkeit aufweisen, neue Technologien einzusetzen. Je älter die Belegschaft eines Unternehmens ist, desto geringer ist dessen Wahrscheinlichkeit neue Technologien einzusetzen. Des Weiteren scheinen Komplementaritäten zwischen dem Humankapital von jüngeren Beschäftigten und dem von älteren Beschäftigten zu existieren. Jüngeren Beschäftigten fällt der Umgang mit IKT leichter und sie lernen tendenziell schneller. Ältere Beschäftigte sind erfahrener und besitzen ein größeres Wissen über firmeninterne Strukturen und den Betriebsablauf. Daher ist eine heterogene Alterstruktur für die Wahrscheinlichkeit des Einsatzes neuer Technologien möglicherweise vorteilhafter als eine homogene Alterstruktur. Die Ergebnisse der vorliegenden Arbeit zeigen jedoch, dass die Altersverteilung keine Auswirkungen auf die Wahrscheinlichkeit des Einsatzes neuer Technologien hat. Laut vorherigen Studien besteht ein komplementärer Zusammenhang zwischen der Nutzung von IKT und der Anwendung moderner Methoden der Personal- und Arbeitsorganisation. Des Weiteren kann durch die Anwendung innovativer Methoden der Arbeitsorganisation möglicherweise ein günstigeres Umfeld für den Einsatz neuer Technologien geschaffen werden. Auf der anderen Seite gibt es empirische Evidenz dafür, dass die Anwendung innovativer Methoden der Arbeitsorganisation mit der Beschäftigung älterer Arbeitnehmer negativ korreliert ist. Da die Anwendung innovativer Methoden der Arbeitsorganisation eine gegensätzliche Beziehung mit der Anwendung von IKT und neuen Technologien einerseits und mit der Beschäftigung älterer Arbeitnehmer andererseits zu haben scheint, wird mit dieser Arbeit eine Forschungslücke geschlossen, da die gemeinsame Auswirkung von Alterstruktur der Belegschaft und Verstärkung der Gruppenarbeit als Methode der Arbeitsorganisation auf die Wahrscheinlichkeit des Einsatzes neuer oder wesentlich verbesserter Technologien untersucht wird. Die Ergebnisse zeigen, dass Unternehmen, die Gruppenarbeit verstärkt haben und einen höheren Anteil an unter 30-jährigen beschäftigen, eine geringere Wahrscheinlichkeit aufweisen, neue bzw. wesentlich verbesserte Technologien einzuführen; wohingegen Unternehmen, die Gruppenarbeit verstärkt haben und einen größeren Anteil an 40-55-jährigen beschäftigen, eine höhere Wahrscheinlichkeit des Einsatzes neuer Technologien aufweisen.
    Keywords: age structure of the workforce, adoption of new technologies, ICT intensive services
    JEL: J14 O31
    Date: 2008
  8. By: Moniz, António; Paulos, Margarida Ramires
    Abstract: The clothing sector in Portugal is still seen, in many aspects as a traditional sector with some average characteristics, such as: low level of qualifications, less flexible labour legislation and stronger unionisation, very low salaries and low capability of investment in innovation and new technology. Is, nevertheless, a very important sector in terms of labour market, with increased weight in the exporting structure. Globalisation and delocalisation are having a strong impact in the organisation of work and in occupational careers in the sector. With the pressure of global competitiveness in what concerns time and prices, very few companies are able to keep a position in the market without changes in organisation of work and workers. And those that can perform good responses to such challenges are achieving a better economical stability. The companies have found different ways to face this reality according to size, capital and position. We could find two main paths: one where companies outsource a part or the entire production to another territory (for example, several manufacturing tasks), close and/or dismissal the workers. Other path, where companies up skilled their capacities investing, for example, in design, workers training, conception and introduction of new or original products. This paper will present some results from the European project WORKS – Work organisation and restructuring in the knowledge society (6th Framework Programme), focusing the Portuguese case studies in several clothing companies in what concern implications of global context for the companies in general and for the workers in particular, in a comparative analysis with some other European countries.
    Keywords: Clothing Industry; Restructuring; Work; Knowledge Society
    JEL: L67 F23 J61 F01 L22 A14
    Date: 2008–07
  9. By: Aija Leiponen
    Abstract: ABSTRACT : This exploratory empirical study compares the determinants of innovation in manufacturing and services through descriptive and regression analyses of sales from innovative products and services. The results suggest that, contrary to earlier research, R&D investments play a positive and significant role in both services and manufacturing. Service firms also benefit from broad strategies of sourcing external information. In contrast, strategic breadth in terms of pursuing multiple different innovation objectives or cooperating with different types of partners appears to have detrimental effects on service innovation. We interpret the latter results through reference to service firms’ R&D and alliance management capabilities : Managing multiple innovation projects or multiple cooperative arrangements is challenging, and some service firms may not have accumulated the requisite managerial capabilities to benefit from these strategies. The available data provide partial support for this conjecture.
    JEL: O31 O32 L8
    Date: 2008–08–22
  10. By: Chia-Lin Chang; Les Oxley (University of Canterbury)
    Abstract: The paper analyses the impact of geographic innovation on Total Factor Productivity (TFP) in Taiwan. Using 242 four-digit standard industrial classification (SIC) industries in Taiwan in 2001, we compute TFP by estimating Translog production functions with K, L, E and M inputs, and measure the geographic innovative activity using both Krugman's Gini coefficients and the location Herfindahl index. We also consider the geographic innovation variable as an endogenous variable and use 2SLS to obtain a consistent, albeit inefficient, estimator. The empirical results show a significantly positive effect of geographic innovation, as well as R&D expenditure, on TFP. These results are robust for the Gini coefficients and location Herfindahl index, when industry characteristics and heteroskedasticity are controlled. Moreover, according to the endogeneity of geographic innovation, the Hausman test shows that the geographic innovation variable should be treated as endogenous, which supports the modern theory of industrial clustering about innovation spillovers within clusters.
    Keywords: Industry agglomeration; Geographic innovation; Total factor productivity; Cluster; Research and Development
    JEL: O32 O33 L60 R12
    Date: 2008–07–01
  11. By: Jakob B. Madsen; Shishir Saxena; James B. Ang
    Abstract: Using over half a century of R&D data for India, this paper examines the extent to which India’s recent growth experience can be explained by R&D, international R&D spillovers, catch-up to the technology frontier and financial liberalization. Furthermore, the paper also tests whether any of the competing second-generation endogenous growth theories can explain India’s growth experience. The findings provide support for Schumpeterian growth theory and indicate that the recent high growth rates in India are likely to continue well into the future.
    JEL: O3 O4
    Date: 2008–08
  12. By: William Latham (Department of Economics,University of Delaware); Hong Yin (Department of Economics,University of Delaware)
    Abstract: We examine the return to innovation in terms of economic growth at the provincial level to assess whether or not policies that promote R&D, such as China’s Science and Technology Policy, have been productive for all of China’s regions. The return to innovation at the provincial level is estimated using a value-added Cobb-Douglas production function. The measure of the effect of innovation (patenting activity) is valued-added industrial output. The data are a balanced panel for 30 provinces for the period 1991-2004. We find that the production function including innovation fits the Chinese provincial level data well. These estimates indicate that technology plays a positive role in industrial growth at the provincial level; however, the contribution of technology is far too small, which indicates that China’s economic growth is largely driven by the factor inputs. The results support the views that the linkages between innovation activity and commercialization of new technology are weak within Chinese domestic firms which have difficulties in exploiting and adopting the new technologies. The results also indicate that the inter-regional technology spillovers are positive but relatively small and weak, compared to the European regions and the states in the US. The estimated results further confirm that the impact of industrial reforms during the period of 1994-99 on China’s technological development is negative, as there seems to be neither exogenous technical progress nor technology’s contribution to the value-added industrial output during those years.
    Keywords: China, patents, productivity, innovation, regions
    JEL: O33 R11 O47 O55
  13. By: Jakub Steiner; Colin Stewart
    Abstract: We show by example that communication can generate a failure of common knowledge acquisition. In the absence of communication, agents acquire approximate common knowledge of some parameter, but with communication they do not.
    Keywords: Common knowledge, communication
    JEL: D80
    Date: 2008–08–27

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