nep-knm New Economics Papers
on Knowledge Management and Knowledge Economy
Issue of 2012‒03‒21
nine papers chosen by
Laura Stefanescu
European Research Centre of Managerial Studies in Business Administration

  1. High quality workplace training and innovation in highly developed countries By Christian Rupietta; Uschi Backes-Gellner
  2. Measuring the knowledge base of regional innovation systems in Sweden By Martin, Roman
  3. Decentralization, Social Networks, and Organizational Learning By Emily Erikson; Sampsa Samila
  4. Cross-border acquisitions of science-based firms: Their effect on innovation in the acquired firm and the local science By Marcela Miozzo; Lori DiVito; Panos Desyllas
  5. Specialize or Coordinate? The impact of organization design on shared mental representations and innovation outcomes in joint search By Thorbjørn Knudsen; Kannan Srikanth
  6. From creativity to innovativeness: micro evidence from Italy By Roberto Antonietti
  7. Mobility of Skills and Ideas By Aloña Martiarena
  9. Policies to stimulate innovation By Andrew Atkeson; Ariel T. Burstein

  1. By: Christian Rupietta (Department of Business Administration, University of Zurich); Uschi Backes-Gellner (Department of Business Administration, University of Zurich)
    Abstract: This paper examines whether high quality, curriculum-based training at the workplace makes firms more innovative. Our dependent variable innovativeness is operationalized with four different measures: general innovation, product innovation, process innovation and patent applications. As explanatory variable we use regulated apprenticeship training programs with three to four years length of the type found in German speaking countries. We argue that this type of curriculum-based workplace training provides an additional source of knowledge in the knowledge production process through its innovative and steadily revised training curricula. We expect that this additional source of knowledge leads to higher innovation in training firms compared to non-training firms. Our empirical results show that up-to-date curriculum-based apprenticeship training is positively associated with all of the four innovation measures. Taking endogenous apprenticeship decision into account, the positive effect is only significant for general innovation and patent applications.
    Keywords: Apprenticeship training, Innovation, Education
    JEL: I20 O31
    Date: 2012–03
  2. By: Martin, Roman (CIRCLE, Lund University)
    Abstract: Within the literature on innovation systems, there are a growing number of scholars emphasizing the importance of differentiated knowledge bases underlying innovation activities. The existing work on knowledge bases is largely grounded on in-depth case studies; while surprisingly little effort has been done so far to operationalize the concept in a more systematic manner. In this paper, an attempt is made to develop a scheme of analysis to identify the knowledge base of a regional economy. We suggest using occupation data in association with a location quotient analysis, to assess whether a regional economy has a particular strength in one (or more) knowledge bases. To bring the analytical scheme into practice and assess it, we apply it on the county level in Sweden. The results are explained and contrasted with insights on the regional economies taken from secondary sources. We conclude that the proposed scheme of analysis leads to fairly reliable results, and could stimulate further empirical research on differentiated knowledge bases.
    Keywords: differentiated knowledge base; regional innovation system; Sweden
    JEL: O32
    Date: 2012–02–27
  3. By: Emily Erikson; Sampsa Samila
    Abstract: Research on the exploration and exploitation of knowledge in organizations suggests that the autonomy of subsidiaries or units encourages innovation. However, that same autonomy potentially discourages the exploitation of innovations through inter-unit communication – suggesting a tradeoff between innovation, associated with exploration, and communication, associated with exploitation. Analyzing data on the operational decisions of captains in the English East India Company, we find that high unit autonomy encourages the transfer of information via social networks, whereas centralization depresses the use of social networks. Further, the information transferred via social networks does make its way into the formal knowledge base of the firm.
    Date: 2012
  4. By: Marcela Miozzo; Lori DiVito; Panos Desyllas
    Abstract: This paper asks what happens to the technological resources and assets of host country science-based firms when they are acquired by foreign firms. Drawing on a multiple case study research design and interviews with UK biopharmaceutical firms and on patent data, the paper derives different patterns of knowledge base combinations through acquisition that have different outcomes in terms of innovation. These patterns are based on combinations of two factors: the complementarity or similarity of the technology, and the complementarity or similarity of the discovery and development capabilities of the target and acquiring firm. These combinations have clear differential outcomes in terms of investment in the acquired firm’s technology and important effects for the local science and technology system.
    Date: 2011
  5. By: Thorbjørn Knudsen; Kannan Srikanth
    Abstract: The integration of specialists’ search efforts is one of the principal purposes of organization. Integration mechanisms enable joint search by allowing interdependent others to form shared mental models of the joint task. However, apart from the formation of shared mental models, organization also impacts the locus of search and specialization in innovative conditions. This interplay between the emergence of self (specialized) knowledge and shared knowledge is likely to significantly impact joint search outcomes. In this paper we propose a computational model that examines the trade-off in the development of specialized vs. shared knowledge and how it impacts joint search for different innovation landscapes and different levels of agent ability. Our results point to the importance of not generalizing from single searcher problems for joint searcher problems.
    Keywords: Organization Design ; Coordination ; Joint Search; Shared Mental Models
    Date: 2011
  6. By: Roberto Antonietti
    Abstract: In this paper I assess the existence, and the magnitude, of technological externalities in the form of creativity spillovers that affect individual firms’ innovative intensity. Relying on a large sample of Italian manufacturing firms, I first estimate a knowledge production function; from this, I extract the residuals, which represent the unexplained part of the actual observed share of innovative sales, namely ‘innovativeness’. Then, I regress such a measure of firm innovativeness on a set of occupation-based, as well as density-based, indicators of creativity at the NUTS3 level, while controlling for firm localization, size and industry. I also control for endogeneity and non-linearity by estimating a two-stage least squares model and a generalized additive model respectively. My estimates show that: (i) there is a positive and highly statistically significant effect of creativity on innovativeness; (ii) the effect of creativity on actual innovative sales is weak, whereas I find a strong positive effect played by internal R&D labour; (iii) occupation-based measures of creativity outperform education-based measures of human capital; (iv) when controlling for the education content of jobs, firms’ innovativeness is affected more by the local availability of non-graduated creative workers than of graduated ones; (v) rather, a higher local availability of graduated creative workers affects the invention intensity of a city; (vi) the relationship between firm innovativeness and the local density of creative people is U-shaped, so that proximity-based knowledge externalities emerge only after a certain density threshold is reached, this occurring typically in larger urban areas, typically hosting design and service-based creative industries.
    Keywords: creativity; innovativeness; innovative sales; knowledge production function; proportions
    JEL: L60 O31 R10
    Date: 2011
  7. By: Aloña Martiarena
    Abstract: This paper examines and tests how the composition of human capital that workers acquire on-the-job determines the decision to found spinoffs and the know-how that entrepreneurs exploit in the new firm. I argue that given the different degree of specialisation in small and large firms, entrepreneurs emerging from small firms transfer knowledge from more diverse aspects of the business and create spinoffs more related to the main activity of the incumbent firm. Workers in large firms, however, benefit from higher returns to human capital that increase their opportunity costs to switch to an occupation that requires a different combination of skills. Since becoming an entrepreneur implies performing multiple tasks and makes part of their specialised skills unutilised, the minimum quality of the business idea at which they are willing to reveal the discovery is higher and, therefore, entrepreneurs emerging from large firms are of highest quality.
    Keywords: Spinoffs ; enrepreneurship ; human caital ; on-the-job learning ; firm performance
    JEL: L25 L26 J31 J33
    Date: 2012
  8. By: Yvon Pesqueux (LIRSA - Laboratoire Interdisciplinaire de Recherche en Sciences de l'Action - Conservatoire National des Arts et Métiers (CNAM) : EA4603)
    Abstract: L'argumentation de ce texte est la suivante : après avoir rappelé les contours de la notion de modèle, on abordera l'innovation comme étant un discours (cf. J. L. Austin) dont soulignera la substance évolutionniste avant de tresser les rapports qui s'établissent entre innovation, apprentissage organisationnel & configurations organisationnelles apprenantes et changement organisationnel. On abordera alors le développement durable en en soulignant sa dimension floue et ambiguë avant de poser la question de l'existence d'un modèle utopique de l'organisation innovante et durable.
    Date: 2012–02–28
  9. By: Andrew Atkeson; Ariel T. Burstein
    Date: 2011

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