nep-knm New Economics Papers
on Knowledge Management and Knowledge Economy
Issue of 2015‒01‒09
thirteen papers chosen by
Laura Ştefănescu
Centrul European de Studii Manageriale în Administrarea Afacerilor

  1. How Important Are Internal Knowledge Flows for Firms' Innovative Performance in Spain? By Esther Goya
  2. Motivating Knowledge Agents: Can Incentive Pay Overcome Social Distance? By Erlend Berg; Maitreesh Ghatak; R Manjula; D Rajasekhar; Sanchari Roy
  3. The Role of Science Parks in Smart Specialisation Strategies By Claire Nauwelaers; Alexander Kleibrink; Katerina Stancova
  4. Determinants of technological innovation in SMEs. Firm-level factors, agglomeration economies and the role of KIBS providers By Roberto Ganau; Eleonora Di Maria
  5. Innovation, Decentralization, and Planning in a Multi-Region Model of Schumpeterian Economic Growth By Amit Batabyal; Peter Nijkamp
  7. Hub Airports, the knowledge economy and how close is close? Evidence from Europe By Alain Thierstein; Sven Conventz
  8. Explaining the gap between policy aspirations and implementation: The case of university knowledge transfer policy in the United Kingdom By Ainurul Rosli; Federica Rossi
  9. Knowledge Spillovers, ICT and Productivity Growth By Corrado, Carol; Haskel, Jonathan; Jona-Lasinio, Cecilia
  10. Globalization, Peace & Stability, Governance, and Knowledge Economy By Voxi Amvilah; Simplice Anutechia Asongu; Antonio Andrés
  11. Transition and path-dependence in knowledge-intensive industry location: Case of Russian professional services By Denis Ivanov
  12. Knowledge-based local economic development in the less developed region: ELI Science Park in Hungary By Imre Lengyel; Miklós Lukovics; Szabolcs Imreh
  13. Economic Implications of Business Dynamics for KE-Associated Economic Growth and Inclusive Development in African Countries By Simplice Asongu; Voxi Amavilah; Antonio Andrés

  1. By: Esther Goya (AQR-IREA Research Group, University of Barcelona)
    Abstract: The aim of this paper is to analyse the extent to which internal knowledge flows may have an impact on firms’ innovative performance. As most of innovation literature has focused its attention on external knowledge transfers, internal knowledge flows have faded into the background. However, transference of information and experience within firms can improve their technological performance impacting positively on their innovativeness leading to higher innovative sales. Voluntary and involuntary knowledge flows are taken under consideration as well as firm’s absorptive capacity. The dataset used is Technological Innovation Panel (PITEC) for Spain over the period 2004-2011. The results indicate that internal knowledge flows have a positive and significant influence on innovative sales. In particular, voluntary knowledge flows have a greater impact than involuntary knowledge transfers. Interestingly, internal knowledge flows increase innovative sales to a greater extent than their external counterparts. This finding highlights the importance of internal information which, as it was mentioned previously, usually remains in the shadows. Finally, absorptive capacity only seems to enhance efficiency in exploiting involuntary knowledge flows.
    Keywords: innovation performance, internal knowledge flows, absorptive capacity, Spain
    JEL: D22 L20 O31
    Date: 2014–11–10
  2. By: Erlend Berg; Maitreesh Ghatak; R Manjula; D Rajasekhar; Sanchari Roy
    Abstract: This paper studies the interaction of incentive pay and social distance in the dissemination of information. We analyse theoretically as well as empirically the effect of incentive pay when agents have pro-social objectives, but also preferences over dealing with one social group relative to another. In a randomised field experiment undertaken across 151 villages in South India, local agents were hired to spread information about a public health insurance programme. Relative to at pay, incentive pay improves knowledge transmission to households that are socially distant from the agent, but not to households similar to the agent.
    Keywords: public services, information constraints, incentive pay, social proximity, knowledge transmission
    JEL: C93 D83 I38 M52 O15 Z13
    Date: 2013–03
  3. By: Claire Nauwelaers (Independent Policy Analyst); Alexander Kleibrink (European Commission – JRC - IPTS); Katerina Stancova (European Commission – JRC - IPTS)
    Abstract: Science and technology parks (STPs) are very common instruments used by regional and national authorities for regional development. Their main objective is to foster science-based growth poles to stimulate economic diversification away from declining industries. Today, STPs are present in many European regions. They concentrate a wide range of innovative companies and research organisations, and as a consequence the overall knowledge intensity of these places is very high. STPs are thus likely to include seeds for the domains of knowledge-intensive specialisation, on which regions can rely to increase their competitiveness. This is why STPs seem well placed to play a key role in innovation strategies for smart specialisation (S3). We argue that the diversity of STP models by definition means that their contribution to smart specialisation is very likely to depend on the specific context. Three key roles for STPs in the design and implementation of smart specialisation strategies are proposed: (1) STPs may provide an adequate innovation ecosystem for the development of pilot innovation initiatives, well in line with the entrepreneurial discovery process that should drive the regional economies towards new, distinctive and competitive areas of activities. (2) STPs can play an important role as one of the relevant stakeholders forming the quadruple helix of innovation actors shaping smart specialisation strategies. (3) STPs can add the needed external and outward-looking dimension to smart specialisation strategies, a dimension that is today still very much under-developed. Yet, these contributions from STPs cannot be taken for granted. We identify limitations and success conditions for each of the three roles. Illustrative examples of STPs in Finland, England and the Netherlands show how STPs can actively and creatively contribute to the design of innovation strategies and to the external connectivity of their home regions.
    Keywords: European cohesion policy, Structural Funds, smart specialisation, Innovation Union, science and technology parks, innovation ecosystem, regional development
    Date: 2014–07
  4. By: Roberto Ganau; Eleonora Di Maria
    Abstract: The study of the determinants of innovation processes has received great attention in both the economics and the business literature. However, only few contributions have proposed a comprehensive framework able to bring together different but not mutually exclusive research approaches. This paper contributes to the analysis of the determinants of technological innovation - namely, product and process innovations - focusing on Italian manufacturing small and medium sized firms (SMEs) by accounting, simultaneously, for firm-specific characteristics, agglomeration economies and the role of KIBS providers. Specifically, the paper provides an empirical investigation which is built on a multi-dimensional theoretical basis which gathers the resource-based view of the firm and the new economic geography framework together. The empirical exercise employs data of about 4,000 Italian SMEs observed over the period 2004-2006 and drawn from the Unicredit-Capitalia database. Parametric probabilistic models are estimated in order to identify the joint effects of several potential determinants of successful technological innovation. Overall, results suggest that technological innovation in manufacturing SMEs is mainly driven by firm-specific characteristics. It emerges that experience and knowledge accumulated over time (i.e. age) as well as availability of human and capital resources (i.e. size) matter for being innovative firms. Moreover, innovative firms show both higher labour productivity levels and higher investments in R&D activities than non-innovative firms. Results partially support previous findings on the agglomeration-innovation relationship: overall, diversification (specialisation) externalities seem to positively (negatively) affect (high-tech) firms' probability of introducing technological innovations. Finally, results suggest that the spatial agglomeration of KIBS providers - i.e. being located in an area characterised by a high concentration of KIBS firms - does not matter per se: in fact, a positive effect emerges only when firms' heterogeneity in absorptive capacity is explicitly considered. Results show that only (low-tech) SMEs which invest in R&D activities benefit from a high geographic concentration of (professional and technological) KIBS firms.
    Keywords: Technological innovation; Manufacturing SMEs; Resource-Based Theory; Agglomeration Economies; KIBS providers; Italy;
    JEL: D22 O31 R12
    Date: 2014–11
  5. By: Amit Batabyal; Peter Nijkamp
    Abstract: We study innovation and the resulting Schumpeterian economic growth that this innovation gives rise to in a model with N heterogeneous regions. For each region i where i=1,...,N, our analysis leads to five findings. First, we define the balanced growth path (BGP) allocations and the equilibrium of interest. Second, we stipulate the form of the innovation possibilities frontier that is consistent with balanced economic growth. Third, we derive the growth rate of the ith region in the decentralized equilibrium and show that there are no transitional dynamics. Fourth, we solve the social planner's problem and derive the Pareto optimal growth rate for the ith region. Fifth, we compare the two preceding growth rates and then discuss the circumstances in which there is either too much or too little innovation in (i) the ith region, (ii) the aggregate economy of N>2 regions and (iii) the specific case of an aggregate economy of N=2 regions. Finally, we conclude and then offer suggestions for extending the research described here.
    Keywords: Human Capital; Innovation; Multi-Region Economy; Schumpeterian Economic Growth
    JEL: R11 J24 O31
    Date: 2014–11
  6. By: Ettore Bolisani (University of Padua, Vicenza, Italy); Enrico Scarso (University of Padua, Vicenza, Italy); Malgorzata Zieba (Gdansk University of Technology, Gdansk, Poland)
    Abstract: The growing interest in Intellectual Capital management and Knowledge Management is now reaching small companies, especially those in the Knowledge-Intensive Business Services (KIBS) sector. This paper aims to explore this issue, starting from the assumption that a planned and systematic approach to KM, as is used in large companies, is rarely applicable in small organizations. It is more likely that small companies adopt an approach to KM that could be defined as “emergent”, i.e. KM is not planned rationally and in advance, but emerges and is developed along with time. In the paper, the concept of emergent KM approach will be defined and discussed, and three research questions will be examined: a. Is it possible to detect an emergent KM approach in the practice of small KIBS? b. If so, why small KIBS companies follow an emergent KM approach? c. What particular features this approach can have in those companies? The study is based on the results of a qualitative survey involving several owners and managers of small companies operating in the KIBS sector. The survey uses the case study method, and gives grounds for a preliminary analysis of emergent KM approach is small companies offering KIBS. The findings confirm that it is easy to find small companies adopting an emergent approach to KM: in the analysed cases there were no formal KM plans, despite the fact that they have all introduced various KM practices. This shows that there can be the need to define KM approaches that better fit smaller companies
    Keywords: Knowledge Management, KIBS, Emergent KM Approach, Case-study analysis
    JEL: L84 M1
    Date: 2014–11
  7. By: Alain Thierstein; Sven Conventz
    Abstract: Airports have stepped beyond the stage of being simply pure infrastructure facilities. Hub airports in particular are considered to function as supra-regional and international gateway infrastructure thus having a decisive impact on firms' competitiveness and stimulating urban development. Hub airports have ? through their capability of concentrating different types of flows, from local to global ? morphed into strategic nodes within the networked economy. Recent studies indicate that hub airports increasingly play a significant role for multi-branch multi-location firms with their decision making process about where to locate. Successively, knowledge-intensive companies have settled their regional, national and sometimes supranational branches in close spatial proximity to primary and secondary airports. Simultaneously to their enhanced functionality, hub airports in Europe are increasingly recognized as general urban activity centres; that is, key assets for cities and regions as economic generators and catalysts of investment, in addition to being critical components of efficient city infrastructure. Hub airports thus represent ? against the backdrop of knowledge intensive firms optimizing physical and relational proximity within their knowledge generation efforts ? a crucial case where new urban functionalities co-produce new emerging urban patterns and vice-versa. The paper will shed light on the following questions: Which role does the knowledge generation process of firms and their respective locational needs play for geographical and relational proximity? What role does the hub airport represent within the value chains of knowledge-intensive companies? What role does an airport assume within a multi-branch firm's decision-making process about locating activities? The paper reflects the empirical results of a research project that compares the firm location behavior at the airports of Amsterdam, Munich, Dusseldorf and Frankfurt. We conclude with some recommendations on how airport-linked real estate sites need to be planned in order to reach certain robustness towards the constantly changing spatial needs of its users.
    JEL: R33
    Date: 2014–11
  8. By: Ainurul Rosli (University of Wolverhampton Business School); Federica Rossi (Birkbeck, University of London)
    Date: 2014–12
  9. By: Corrado, Carol; Haskel, Jonathan; Jona-Lasinio, Cecilia
    Abstract: This paper looks at the channels through which intangible assets affect productivity. The econometric analysis exploits a new dataset on intangible investment (INTAN-Invest) in conjunction with EUKLEMS productivity estimates for 10 EU member states from 1998 to 2007. We find that (a) the marginal impact of ICT capital is higher when it is complemented with intangible capital, and (b) non-R&D intangible capital has a higher estimated output elasticity than its conventionally-calculated factor share. These findings suggest investments in knowledge-based capital, i.e., intangible capital, produce productivity growth spillovers via mechanisms beyond those previously established for R&D.
    Keywords: economic growth; ICT; intangible assets; intangible capital; productivity growth; spillovers
    JEL: E01 E22 O47
    Date: 2014–07
  10. By: Voxi Amvilah (Glendale College, Economics); Simplice Anutechia Asongu (Association of African Young Economists); Antonio Andrés (Universidad Camilo Jose CelaFacultad)
    Abstract: A previous analysis of the impact of formal institutions on the knowledge economy of 22 Middle-Eastern and Sub-Sahara African countries during the 1996-2010 time period concluded that formal institutions were necessary, but inadequate, determinants of the knowledge economy. To extend that study, this paper claims that globalization induces peace and stability, which affects governance and through governance the knowledge economy. The claim addresses one weakness of previous research that did not consider the effects on the knowledge economy of globalization. We model the proposition as a three-stage process in four hypotheses, and estimate each hypothesis using robust estimators that are capable of dealing with the usual statistical problems without sacrificing economic relevance and significance. The results indicate that globalization has varying effects on peace and stability, and peace and stability affect governance differently depending on what kind of globalization induces it. For instance, the effects on governance induced by globalization defined as trade are stronger than those resulting from globalization taken to be foreign direct investment. Hence, we conclude that foreign direct investment is not a powerful mechanism for stimulating and sustaining the knowledge economy in our sample of countries. However, since globalization-induced peace and stability have both positive and negative effects on governance simultaneously, we also conclude that while the prospect for knowledge economy in African countries is dim, it is still realistic and attainable as long as these countries continue to engage in the kind of globalization that does indeed induce peace and stability. We further conclude that there is a need for a sharper focus on economic and institutional governance than on general governance as one possible extension of this paper.
    Keywords: Globalisation, Peace and Stability, Governance, Knowledge Economy
    JEL: I20 I28 K42 O10 O55
    Date: 2014–11
  11. By: Denis Ivanov
    Abstract: This paper searches for roots of current spatial pattern of professional services in location of Soviet-era R&D sector. The Soviet economy sponsored massive R&D oriented mainly on military purposes. Research was carried out in large institutions affiliated with academia or industry. After the collapse of socialism, military spending and related R&D decreased dramatically. Many researchers left Soviet-style institutions and succeed in the market economy. Did however this process mean anything for geography? Under the centrally planned economy, locational decisions were driven by non-market motives. Moreover, it was near-impossible for planners to anticipate which regions would be more promising under market. I focus on professional services since these industries do not rely on physical capital endowments, so sunk costs are unlikely to impose path-dependence. Professional services in Russia typically hire young educated persons which are expected to be mobile, so imperfect labor market is also unlikely to stick people to places ? unlike human capital externalities which are plausibly to do so. I regress employment in professional services in 2009-2011 by 76 Russian regions on the number of R&D staff in 1991. I consider three industries: architecture and engineering; information technology; accounting, auditing and management consulting. Controls to capture industry location fundamentals include modern-day gross regional product or overall employment, number of employees with university degree, number of R&D staff and urbanization. It should be noted that present-day number of R&D staff comprises primarily employees of state-owned Soviet-style institutions while professional service providers are typically up-to-date privately-owned firms. Results reveal that employment in Soviet R&D positively and significantly affects present-day employment in engineering and in IT. No such evidence is found for accounting, auditing and management consulting in which industries researchers' skills were less relevant. Results remains when shares in employment of professional services and R&D sector are plugged into regression instead of absolute numbers. I consider different explanations for this phenomenon. I attempt to track influence of 1991 R&D-related employment on current output-per-worker in IT and engineering and find positive correlation, although marginally significant. So, it is unlikely that Soviet-era pools of human capital created regional poverty traps due to low migration rates, and human capital externalities theory seems plausible. I also find that regions with greater number of R&D staff in 1991 now have greater number of SMEs both in business services and in the rest of economy, so entrepreneurship is a likely mechanism to impose path-dependence.
    JEL: N74 R12
    Date: 2014–11
  12. By: Imre Lengyel; Miklós Lukovics; Szabolcs Imreh
    Abstract: The Extreme Light Infrastructure (ELI) project is an integral part of a certain generation of planned and currently constructed research facilities that are held together by the European Strategy Forum on Research Infrastructures (ESFRI). The ELI is the world's first establishment that will enable the examination of the reactions between light and matter on a far more intense level including the so-called ultra-relativistic range. The research project will be carried out in 3 countries, facilities will be built in the Czech Republic, Romania and Hungary independently. The ELI Attosecond Light Pulse Source (ELI-ALPS) laser facility will be built in Szeged, Hungary in the less-developed Southern Great Plain region, from a budget of 200 million euros. The future buildings will not only give place to laser devices, but they also ensure an adequate amount of area for offices, seminar and conference rooms, a library and social places for about 150 researchers and administrative personnel. This investment will give Hungary and also Szeged the chance to strengthen their local scientific capacities and to trigger the initiation of knowledge-based economic development projects. The ELI-ALPS laser facility will require 10 acres and will built on the 110 acre property of one of Hungary's most noted universities, the University of Szeged, which currently educates 30 000 students. The main concepts indicate that around the ELI-ALPS a science park will emerge and will be focused on knowledge-based activities. The planned ELI Science Park will be quite specific and unique compared to other territorial concentrations (industrial parks, industrial areas, other science parks, etc.) and will closely relate to the high-quality IT, medical imaging, biotechnology, pharmaceutical and materials science activities of the University of Szeged. In this study we attempt to summarize the characteristics of a local area that is able to accommodate the ELI-ALPS and the ELI Science Park based on international scientific results and experiences. After analysing the current situations, we propose a development concept that will mark out realistic connections between the local economy and R&D infrastructures. An important element of this is local embedment. Within the confines of this - among other things - we suggest economic and entrepreneurial development projects that are able to create the opportunity of collaboration between the world class R&D infrastructure and local enterprises and measure up to our expectations.
    Keywords: science park; local economic development; knowledge-based facilities
    JEL: O18 O32 R11 R30
    Date: 2014–11
  13. By: Simplice Asongu (Yaoundé/Cameroun); Voxi Amavilah (Phoenix AZ, USA); Antonio Andrés (Madrid, Spain)
    Abstract: This paper develops an empirically-relevant framework (a) to examine whether or not the African business environment hinders or promotes the knowledge economy (KE), (b) to determine how the KE which emerges from such an environment affects economic growth, and (c) how growth in turn relates to the ‘inclusive development’ of 53 African countries during the 1996-2010 time period. The framework provides a modest guide to policymaking about, and further research into, such relationships. We implement the framework by building a three-stage model and rationalizing it as five interrelated hypotheses. To allow greater concentration on the issues that are themselves already complex, our model is very simple, but clear. For example, we make neither an attempt to evaluate causality nor to test for it, even though we suspect the links to be multi-directional – opportunity costs are everywhere. Instead we focus on fundamental relationships between the dynamics of starting business and doing business as expressed in the state of KE, and through it to the inclusive development via the economic growth of those countries. Estimation results indicate that the dynamics of starting and doing business explain strongly a large part of variations in KE. The link between KE and economic growth exists, but it is weak, and we provide plausible reasons for such a result. Despite the weak association between KE and economic growth, KE-influenced growth plays a very important role in inclusive development. In fact, growth of this kind has stronger effects on inclusive development and by implication on poverty reduction, than some of conventional controls in this study such as FDI, foreign aid, and even private investment. There is clearly room for further research to improve the results, but just as clearly practical policy is best served by not neglecting the relationships examined in this paper.
    Keywords: Business Dynamics; Knowledge Economy; Development; Africa
    JEL: L59 O10 O30 O20 O55
    Date: 2014–12

This nep-knm issue is ©2015 by Laura Ştefănescu. It is provided as is without any express or implied warranty. It may be freely redistributed in whole or in part for any purpose. If distributed in part, please include this notice.
General information on the NEP project can be found at For comments please write to the director of NEP, Marco Novarese at <>. Put “NEP” in the subject, otherwise your mail may be rejected.
NEP’s infrastructure is sponsored by the School of Economics and Finance of Massey University in New Zealand.