nep-knm New Economics Papers
on Knowledge Management and Knowledge Economy
Issue of 2013‒09‒13
eight papers chosen by
Laura Stefanescu
European Research Centre of Managerial Studies in Business Administration

  1. Do trademarks diminish the substitutability of products in innovative knowledge-intensive services? By Crass, Dirk; Schwiebacher, Franz
  2. Sources of spillovers for imitation and innovation By Cappelli, Riccardo; Czarnitzki, Dirk; Kraft, Kornelius
  3. Self-organization of knowledge economies By Lafond, Francois
  4. The Determinants of R&D Investment: An Empirical Survey By Bettina Becker
  5. A taxonomy of manufacturing and service firms in Luxembourg according to technological skills By El Joueidi, Sarah
  6. Outsourcing, Offshoring and Innovation: Evidence from Firm-level Data for Emerging Economies By Ursula Fritsch; Holger Görg
  7. Evolution of Standards and Innovation By AOKI Reiko; ARAI Yasuhiro
  8. The Management of International Development Projects: Enhancing Sustainable Outcomes with Improved Project Management Education and Training By Patrick Martens; Mieke van Riet; Rui Miguel Santos

  1. By: Crass, Dirk; Schwiebacher, Franz
    Abstract: Trademarks are often supposed to reduce substitutability and imitability of product innovations. Using German CIS data for 2010, we provide empirical evidence that trademarking firms assess easy product substitutability as less characteristic for their competitive environment. This is particularly the case for knowledge-intensive service providers, product innovators and firms which consider trademarks as important intellectual property rights. This suggests that trademarks are an important supplementary mechanism to protect innovations in knowledgeintensive services. --
    Keywords: Trademarks,product differentiation,innovation,services
    JEL: O32 O34
    Date: 2013
  2. By: Cappelli, Riccardo; Czarnitzki, Dirk; Kraft, Kornelius
    Abstract: We estimate the effect of R&D spillovers on sales realized by products new to the firm (imitation) and new to the market (innovation). It turns out that spillovers from rivals lead to more imitation, while inputs from customers and research institutions enhance original innovation. --
    Keywords: innovation,imitation,spillovers
    JEL: L12 O31 O32
    Date: 2013
  3. By: Lafond, Francois (UNU-MERIT / MGSoG)
    Abstract: Suppose that homogenous agents fully consume their time to invent new ideas and learn ideas from their friends. If the social network is complete and agents pick friends and ideas of friends uniformly at random, the distribution of ideas’ popularity is an extension of the Yule-Simon distribution. It has a power-law tail, with an upward or downward curvature. For infinite population it converges to the Yule-Simon distribution. The power law is steeper when innovation is high. Diffusion follows S-shaped curves.
    Keywords: innovation, diffusion, two-mode networks, cumulative advantage, quadratic attachment kernel, power law, Yule-Simon distribution, generalized hypergeometric distribution
    JEL: D83 D85 O31 O33
    Date: 2013
  4. By: Bettina Becker (School of Business and Economics, Loughborough University, UK)
    Abstract: This paper offers an extensive survey and a critical discussion of the empirical literature on the driving factors of R&D. These factors are subsumed under five broad types. The paper first summarises the key predictions from theory regarding each type's R&D effect. It then examines for which factors differences in the theoretical predictions can also be found in empirical studies, and for which factors the empirical evidence is more unanimous. As the focus is on the empirical literature, methodological issues are also highlighted. The major factor types identified in the literature are, individual firm or industry characteristics, particularly internal finance and sales; competition in product markets; R&D tax credits and subsidies; location and resource related factors, such as spillovers from university research within close geographic proximity, membership of a research joint venture and cooperation with research centres, and the human capital embodied in knowledge workers; and spillovers from foreign R&D. Although on balance there is a consensus regarding the R&D effects of most factors, there is also variation in results. Recent work suggests that accounting for nonlinearities is one area of research that may explain and encompass contradictory findings.
    Keywords: R&D; R&D policy; innovation policy; financial constraints; competition; public funding; knowledge spillovers.
    JEL: G20 G28 M15
    Date: 2013–08
  5. By: El Joueidi, Sarah
    Abstract: This study uses data on Luxembourg manufacturing and service firms, sourced from CIS, to illustrate empirical methods of firms’ classification according to pattern and intensity of innovation and the use of technology. This topic is of relevance to Luxembourg, as to date no such specific classification exists for this country. Existing classifications are industry-based rather than firm-based which appears inappropriate given the heterogeneity within Luxembourgish industries. Moreover, they neglect the financial services, of primary importance to Luxembourg. Results show that cluster methods are well suited to classify firms for the case at hand. The analysis identifies four clusters exploiting information on the firms' innovation competencies, the technology used, and the human skills. Firms in the sample are classified into 4 groups, named respectively as i) high-technology, ii) medium-high-technology, iii) medium-lowtechnology, iv) low-technology. Characteristics of each group are discussed.
    Keywords: Innovation, classification, taxonomy, innovation surveys, cluster analysis.
    JEL: C1 C10 C8 O3 O30 O31 O38
    Date: 2013–09–01
  6. By: Ursula Fritsch; Holger Görg
    Abstract: It is striking that by far the lion’s share of empirical studies on the impact of outsourcing on firms considers industrialized countries. However, outsourcing by firms from emerging economies is far from negligible and growing. This paper investigates the link between outsourcing and innovation empirically using firm-level data for over 20 emerging market economies. We find robust evidence that outsourcing is associated with a greater probability to spend on research and development and to introduce new products and upgrade existing products. The effect of offshoring on R&D spending is significantly higher than the effect of domestic outsourcing. However, only domestic outsourcing increases the probability to introduce new products. We also show that the results crucially depend on the level of protection of intellectual property in the economy. Firms increase their own R&D effort in the wake of outsourcing only if they operate in an environment that intensively protects intellectual property
    Keywords: outsourcing, offshoring, innovation, emerging economies
    JEL: F14 O31 O34
    Date: 2013–08
  7. By: AOKI Reiko; ARAI Yasuhiro
    Abstract: We present a framework to examine how a standard evolves when a standard consortium or firm (incumbent) innovates either to improve the standard or to strengthen the installed base which increases switching cost. By investing also in technology improvement, both investments make it more difficult for another firm (entrant) to introduce a standard. Our analysis shows that that the incumbent's strategy will differ according to whether the technology is in its infancy or if it has matured, but the existing standard will never be replaced by the entrant. Stability of a standard consortium standard has dynamic benefits in that it prevents replacement by an entrant. The incumbent deters entry when the technology is in its infancy but allows entry and co-existence of two standards when the technology is mature. This implies that dominance of a single standard even for well-established technologies suggests some market power by the incumbent. Our results also indicate that superior technology will never be sufficient to overtake an existing standard.
    Date: 2013–09
  8. By: Patrick Martens (Maastricht School of Management, Maastricht, The Netherlands); Mieke van Riet (Maastricht School of Management, Maastricht, The Netherlands); Rui Miguel Santos (Maastricht School of Management, Maastricht, The Netherlands)
    Abstract: This paper is focused on the management of international development projects. The primary aim is to put forward innovative new ideas for project management education and training in the light of the current realities of development projects. These are defined as projects funded by international donor organizations that focus on development issues such as poverty alleviation, health, education, agriculture, food security, trade, private sector development and institutional capacity building in developing countries. The paper addresses projects that cover the provision of technical expertise, rather than infrastructural development and supplies, as funded by the European Union, World Bank or bilateral donors such as USAID, the Netherlands Government and DFID. The paper provocatively examines current problems in the field, highlighting some general success and failure factors, and then considers some interesting cases of innovation using new learning technologies and learning designs. The analysis is based on an exploratory research approach through the authors’ hands-on experiences, either as project managers, project management trainers or individual experts, in over 200 donor-funded projects over 18 years in a large and diverse number of developing countries. The current realities of development project management, including education and training, are examined and contrasted with current project management methodologies, especially Project Cycle Management (PCM) and the Project Management Institute’s (PMI) approach regarded as important in that it is as an increasingly emergent industry standard and training provider. The PMI’s ‘Project Management Body of Knowledge’ (PMBOK) provides both a curriculum for training as well as a useful analytical framework for assessing project management performance and is used here to study current issues and problems in development projects: the critical success and failure factors. The PMI, however, is generally better known in the private sector and despite an innovative quality-driven approach using distance education technologies, lacks strong recognition in the institutions of international development. On the other hand, donor-funded project management methodologies, notably PCM, remain de rigueur and there has been little innovation over the last 20 years, especially in the ways project management is taught and trained. A particular issue is distance education and the opportunities provided by electronic learning environments. Drawing on case studies presented, the paper explores how traditional donor project management systems such as PCM can be enhanced by innovative training methods, including e-learning and blended learning; as well as collaboration and sharing with distance education providers such as the PMI and higher education institutions. The paper is also in part intended as a vision and point of departure for a capacity group that will be focused on developing new approaches and materials for project management training that will ultimately contribute to the more effective management of international development projects and promote sustainable outcomes.
    Date: 2013–09

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