nep-knm New Economics Papers
on Knowledge Management and Knowledge Economy
Issue of 2009‒04‒13
eight papers chosen by
Laura Stefanescu
European Research Centre of Managerial Studies in Business Administration

  1. The Diffusion of Informal Knowledge and Innovation Performance: A sectoral approach By Garcia-Torres, M. Abraham; Hollanders, Hugo
  2. Employer-provided training and knowledge spillovers: evidence from Italian local labour markets By Croce, Giuseppe; Ghignoni, Emanuela
  4. Measuring Eco-Innovation By Arundel, Anthony; Kemp, René
  5. Host Country Contingencies on Knowledge Protection Strategies of Multinational Firms: Bring a Knife to a Gunfight? By Sofka, Wolfgang; Shehu, Edlira
  6. News and knowledge capital By Christopher M. Gunn; Alok Johri
  7. Industrielle Konzentration und regionale Innovationskraft – Empirische Ergebnisse für Ostdeutschland – By Christoph Hornych; Michael Schwartz
  8. Strengthening Agricultural Innovation Capacity: Are Innovation Brokers the Answer? By Klerkx, Laurens; Hall, Andy; Leeuwis, Cees

  1. By: Garcia-Torres, M. Abraham (UNU-MERIT); Hollanders, Hugo (UNU-MERIT)
    Abstract: This paper tries to quantify the effect of diffusion of informal knowledge on the innovative performance of European firms using data derived from the 3rd Community Innovation Survey. When firms are asked whether or not they have introduced new products or processes, they were also asked to which degree such innovations were developed in-house. These degrees were captured by the CIS variables InPdtW and InPcsW. These variables ranged from 1 (Mainly done by the firm) to 3 (Mainly done by other enterprises). The focus of this paper is to investigate the impact of diffusion of informal knowledge. We combine the previous variables with another variable which reflects firms that were not doing any formal collaboration with other institutions. If an innovative firm has no formal collaboration arrangements and the innovation has not been done mainly by the firm, then diffusion of informal knowledge is considered to be the main driver of the innovation. The idea is that informal channels are accessible to all firms. This paper tries to quantify the impact of such flows of knowledge on firms’ innovation performance. To do this, a two step procedure is followed: -In a first step, a latent variable for diffusion of informal knowledge is defined and estimated based on firms’ characteristics. -In a second step, the latent diffusion variable is introduced as a regressor in a probit/tobit model.
    Keywords: Knowledge flows, innovation, dynamic equations, sectoral innovation, CIS
    JEL: C34 O32 O31
    Date: 2009
  2. By: Croce, Giuseppe; Ghignoni, Emanuela
    Abstract: Following suggestions from theoretical and empirical literature on agglomeration and on social returns to education which emphasise the contribution of local knowledge spillovers to productivity and wage growth, this paper aims at uncovering the relationship between local human capital and training. Furthermore, we check the effects of other variables measuring distinctive features of local labour markets, like the degree of specialization, average firms’ size, intensity of job turnover, economic density, employment in R&D activities and some other control variables. Our key-results are consistent with the prediction that training should be more frequent in areas where the aggregate educational level is higher. Moreover, interaction between local and individual human capital is positive and significant for those with an upper secondary educational attainment. These results have proved to be robust since they are not altered when different definitions of local human capital are adopted or different sub-samples are considered (with the exception of female workers). We coped also with the problem of omitted variables and spatial sorting, that could bias econometric results, by means of a two-step strategy based on instrumental variables.
    Keywords: Keywords: training; knowledge spillovers; local labour markets
    JEL: O18 J24 R23
    Date: 2009–04
  3. By: Raquel Ortega-Argilés (European Commission, JRC-Institute for Prospective Technological Studies (IPTS) – Knowledge for Growth Unit (KfG), Industrial Research and Innovation (IRI)); Rosina Moreno (Faculty of Economics, University of Barcelona)
    Abstract: Based on the Knowledge Production Function framework given by Griliches (1979), we slightly modify it so that the innovative output depends upon a set of factors related to the firm internal characteristics and are influenced by the environment. Specifically, regarding the firm internal determinants the effect of the concentration of the ownership, the composition of the boards of directors and the effect of the nature of the ownership (foreign and public) are analyzed. Additionally, in order to capture the determinants of the environment in which the firm operates other variables concerning the internationalization of market, the agglomeration economies and the regional knowledge externalities are also considered. In order to assess the impact of these determinants on the number of patents and models of use awarded by the firm, the discreteness of the latter variable has to be taken into account. We apply Poisson and Negative Binomial models for a more comprehensive evaluation of the hypothesis in a panel of Spanish manufacturing firms. The results show patenting activity is positively favoured by being located in an environment with a high innovative activity, due to the existence of knowledge spillovers and agglomeration economies.
    Keywords: Knowledge production function, patents, R&D, ownership, regions
    Date: 2009–04
  4. By: Arundel, Anthony (UNU-MERIT); Kemp, René (UNU-MERIT)
    Abstract: In this paper we offer a discussion of eco-innovation and methods for measuring it. Eco-innovation is a new concept of great importance to business and policy makers, covering many innovations of environmental benefit. Past research and measurement activity primarily focused on pollution control and abatement activities or on the environmental goods and services sector. We argue that eco-innovation research and data collection should not be limited to such environmentally motivated innovations, but should encompass all products, processes, or organizational innovations with environmental benefits. Attention should be broadened to include innovation in or oriented towards resource use, energy efficiency, greenhouse gas reduction, waste minimization, reuse and recycling, new materials (for example nanotechnology-based) and eco-design. Research should cover the drivers, patterns, and benefits of eco-innovation for each of these applications, since these factors are likely to differ. For measuring eco-innovation, no single method or indicator is likely to be sufficient. In general, one should therefore apply different methods for analyzing eco-innovation – to see the “whole elephant” instead of just a part. More effort should be devoted towards direct measurement of eco-innovation outputs using documentary and digital sources to complement the current emphasis on innovation inputs such as R&D or patents. Innovation can also be measured indirectly from changes in resource efficiency and productivity. These two avenues are underexplored and should be given more attention in order to augment our rather narrow knowledge basis.
    Keywords: eco-innovation, environment, innovation, measurement, indicators, data needs
    JEL: O13 O31 Q55
    Date: 2009
  5. By: Sofka, Wolfgang; Shehu, Edlira
    Abstract: International knowledge spillovers, especially through multinational companies (MNCs), have recently been a major topic of the academic and management discussion. However, most studies treat MNC subsidiaries as relatively passive actors without clear knowledge protection strategies. The goal of this study is to extend this stream of research by investigating both market-based (e.g. secrecy, lead time) as well as legal knowledge protection strategies (e.g. patents, trademarks) of MNC subsidiaries. We argue that these strategies are not independent from the opportunities and challenges of the host country. We suggest that the host country leadership status influences the choice of knowledge protection strategies along two major dimensions: geographical and industry strength of host country firms. We test our hypotheses for a broad sample of more than 1,500 firms in Germany. The results indicate that legal forms of knowledge protection are used more restrictively if the host country geographical environment is technologically leading while technological leadership of host country competitors within the industry leads to less restrictive market-based knowledge protection strategies. We develop management recommendations based on these trade-offs between reliable knowledge protection and the need for reciprocity in exchanging knowledge.
    Keywords: Knowledge protection, Multinational Companies, Patenting
    JEL: D8 F23 O31 O32
    Date: 2009
  6. By: Christopher M. Gunn; Alok Johri
    Abstract: We explore the ability of a model with knowledge capital to generate expectations-driven business cycles. Knowledge capital is an input in production which is endogenously produced through a learning-by-doing process. We show that a standard real business cycle model augmented with only a learning-by-doing technology can exhibit an expectations-driven business cycle in response to news about a future change in total factor productivity. News about future productivity immediately increases the value of knowledge. This induces agents to accumulate knowledge now by working harder. The ensuing expansion of output is sufficient that both current consumption and investment can increase above steady state levels despite the absence of any contemporaneous productivity shock. Moreover, if knowledge capital is accumulated by firms the boom in real variables is accompanied by an appreciation in the price of equity shares, a feature that has empirical support.
    Keywords: Expectations-driven business cycle; Pigou cycle: News shock; Learning-by-doing; Asset pricing
    JEL: E3
    Date: 2009–03
  7. By: Christoph Hornych; Michael Schwartz
    Abstract: Regarding technological innovativeness, the transformed economy of the former German Democratic Republic (GDR) clearly lags behind the Western part of the country. To face this weakness, a broad mixture of policy measures was carried out in recent years. Particular attention is drawn to the development of industry concentrations and economic ‘clusters’. However, little is known about the effectiveness of these policy measures regarding how industry concentrations in fact promote innovative performance in Eastern Germany. The present study tries to fill this gap by analyzing the relationship between industry concentration in Eastern Germany and regional innovative performance. Our empirical analysis is based upon the number of patent applications of 22 manufacturing industries in 22 Eastern German planning regions. The estimated regression models indicate an inverted U-shaped relationship between the degree of industry concentration and innovative performance. An exceedingly high degree of industry concentration in one region hampers regional innovative output. We discuss policy implications of our findings and give recommendations for future refinement of ‘cluster’-supporting policy schemes in Eastern Germany.
    Date: 2009–04
  8. By: Klerkx, Laurens (Communication and Innovation Studies Group, Wageningen University); Hall, Andy (UNU-MERIT, LINK); Leeuwis, Cees (Communication and Innovation Studies Group, Wageningen University)
    Abstract: This paper examines the role of innovation brokers in stimulating innovation system interaction and innovation capacity building, and illustrates this by taking the case of Dutch agriculture as an example. Subsequently, it reflects upon the potential role of innovation brokers in developing countries’ agriculture. It concludes that innovation brokerage roles are likely to become relevant in emerging economies and that public or donor investment in innovation brokerage may be needed to overcome inherent tensions regarding the neutrality and funding of such players in the innovation system. The Dutch experience suggests that innovation brokers need to be contextually embedded, and are unlikely to become effective through a centrally-imposed design. Hence, we conclude that stimulating their emergence requires a policy that supports institutional learning and experimentation. In the evaluation of such experiments, it is important to note that innovation brokers tend to play intangible roles that are not easily captured through conventional indicators.
    Keywords: Agriculture, Developing Countries, The Netherlands, Innovation Broker, Neutrality, Institutional Learning, Context-Specific, Innovation Systems, Capacity Strengthening, Agricultural Extension
    JEL: N54 Q13 Q16 Q18
    Date: 2009

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