nep-knm New Economics Papers
on Knowledge Management and Knowledge Economy
Issue of 2015‒07‒04
four papers chosen by
Laura Ştefănescu
Centrul European de Studii Manageriale în Administrarea Afacerilor

  1. Entrepreneurial Regions: Do Macro-psychological Cultural Characteristics of Regions help solve the “Knowledge Paradox” of Economics? By Obschonka, Martin; Stuetzer, Michael; Gosling, Samuel D.; Rentfrow, Peter J.; Lamb, Michael E.; Potter, Jeff; Audretsch, David B.
  2. Best Practices as to How to Support Investment in Intangible Assets By Alexander Ebner; Fabian Bocek
  3. The impact of R&D subsidy on innovation: a study of New Zealand firms By Adam Jaffe; Trinh Le
  4. The Influence of Trust and Knowledge Sharing on Virtual Team Effectiveness By Thomas, Ted

  1. By: Obschonka, Martin; Stuetzer, Michael; Gosling, Samuel D.; Rentfrow, Peter J.; Lamb, Michael E.; Potter, Jeff; Audretsch, David B.
    Abstract: In recent years, modern economies have shifted away from being based on physical capital and towards being based on new knowledge (e.g., new ideas and inventions). Consequently, contemporary economic theorizing and key public policies have been based on the assumption that resources for generating knowledge (e.g., education, diversity of industries) are essential for regional economic vitality. However, policy makers and scholars have discovered that, contrary to expectations, the mere presence of, and investments in, new knowledge does not guarantee a high level of regional economic performance (e.g., high entrepreneurship rates). To date, this “knowledge paradox” has resisted resolution. We take an interdisciplinary perspective to offer a new explanation, hypothesizing that “hidden” regional culture differences serve as a crucial factor that is missing from conventional economic analyses and public policy strategies. Focusing on entrepreneurial activity, we hypothesize that the statistical relation between knowledge resources and entrepreneurial vitality (i.e., high entrepreneurship rates) in a region will depend on “hidden” regional differences in entrepreneurial culture. To capture such “hidden” regional differences, we derive measures of entrepreneurship-prone culture from two large personality datasets from the United States (N = 935,858) and Great Britain (N = 417,217). In both countries, the findings were consistent with the knowledge-culture-interaction hypothesis. A series of nine additional robustness checks underscored the robustness of these results. Naturally, these purely correlational findings cannot provide direct evidence for causal processes, but the results nonetheless yield a remarkably consistent and robust picture in the two countries. In doing so, the findings raise the idea of regional culture serving as a new causal candidate, potentially driving the knowledge paradox; such an explanation would be consistent with research on the psychological characteristics of entrepreneurs.
    Keywords: Innovation; Personality; Knowledge; Culture; Entrepreneurship; Psychology; Regions; Cities
    JEL: L26 M13 O3
    Date: 2015–06
  2. By: Alexander Ebner; Fabian Bocek
    Abstract: Intangible investment is an indispensable factor in the projected socio-ecological transition towards a new European path of economic growth. Its concern with knowledge-based intangible assets highlights the innovation-driven formation of a knowledge-based economy, which is at the heart of current EU strategies for the promotion of sustainable growth. The policy report will summarise best practices of supporting investments in intangible assets in the EU member states at the level of firms, industries and countries as a whole. In proceeding with this work, the policy report will draw on insights that were developed in preceding FP7 projects, in particular COINVEST. This allows for an understanding of intangible investment as investment in intangible assets that provide firm-specific flows of knowledge services. These involve both formal and tacit knowledge in diverse areas such as firm-funded investment in R&D, education and training, software and databases as well as design and branding, accompanied by mechanisms of inter-firm cooperation in the management of knowledge assets. The diverse strategies and policies in support of intangible investment across the EU are going to be assessed on the basis of available cases and data about best practices. The resulting policy report is set to sort out those strategies and policies that provide the most effective support of intangible investment in the formation of a socio-ecologically sustainble knowledge-based economy.
    Keywords: Economic growth path, High road strategy, Innovation, Intangible assets, Social capital as growth driver, Socio-ecological transition
    JEL: D22 D83 M19
    Date: 2015–06
  3. By: Adam Jaffe (Motu Economic and Public Policy Research); Trinh Le (Motu Economic and Public Policy Research)
    Abstract: This paper examines the impact of government assistance through R&D grants on innovation output for firms in New Zealand. Using a large database that links administrative and tax data with survey data, we are able to control for large number of firm characteristics and thus minimise selection bias. We find that receipt of an R&D grant significantly increases the probability that a firm in the manufacturing and service sectors applies for a patent during 2005–2009, but no positive impact is found on the probability of applying for a trademark. Using only firms that participated in the Business Operation Survey, we find that receiving a grant almost doubles the probability that a firm introduces new goods and services to the world while its effects on process innovation and any product innovation are relatively much weaker. Moreover, there is little evidence that grant receipt has differential effects between small to medium (<50 employees) and larger firms. These findings are broadly in line with recent international evidence from Japan, Canada and Italy which found positive impacts of public R&D subsidy on patenting activity and the introduction of new products.
    Keywords: Industrial policy, innovation, R&D
    JEL: O31 O34 O38
    Date: 2015–05
  4. By: Thomas, Ted
    Abstract: Virtual teams are a growing response to increased de-centralisation and globalization, and the need for organizations to adapt to an ever changing and complex work environment. Their growing prevalence reflects many different factors, including the increased global reach of many organizations, changing workforce demographics, and heightened competitive pressures requiring greater organizational flexibility and responsiveness. This phenomenon has grown rapidly in recent years through advancements and greater access to technologies for communication and collaboration. Organizations however are being challenged with understanding what makes these virtual teams effective and how to measure the achievement of such effectiveness. Combined with the convergence of telephony and data technologies this has enabled voice and video to be delivered ‘on demand’ at a far more affordable price to the end consumer. With the added dynamic of ‘mobile’ becoming such a pervasive technology, this is providing the fuel driving the establishment of greater numbers of virtual teams. We now live in an increasingly “connected world” and with the blurring of work and leisure time, for many, virtual teams have already or are becoming a natural extension of the workplace. Individuals are demanding personal flexibility in the management of their time and space and this is matched by organizations seeking flexibility to scale resources in meeting changing demand. Virtual teams may also be seen as a response to satisfying changing social and organizational aspirations. A range of factors are seen as contributing to the effectiveness of virtual teams and these include technology, trust, sharing of knowledge, empowerment and leadership. This study focuses on trust as a primary factor in achieving virtual team effectiveness, and assesses the significance of trust and the sharing of knowledge amongst team members. Trust determines how people work together, listen to one another, and build effective relationships. When people believe that they are working for trustworthy organizations, they are willing to invest their time and talents in making a difference in an organization. People who feel more connected will invest more of themselves in their work. High trust levels lead to a greater sense of self responsibility, greater interpersonal insight, and more collective action toward achieving common goals. However, with a lack of face-to-face contact, trust based on performance substitutes for trust based on social interaction. Trust is a cornerstone to achieving virtual team effectiveness and from an organizational perspective this highlights the need for regular communication with team members to reinforce the culture and values of the organization. In the age of the knowledge economy, knowledge is seen as a critical resource for competitive advantage. The willingness of team members to share knowledge with others on the team can be attributed to the strength of the trust relationship and this further enhances virtual team effectiveness. The challenges for organizations are to understand what level of trust exists across the team, how this impacts on team effectiveness and to be able to apply interventions when seeking to increase team effectiveness. Active and regular communications programmes, internal marketing campaigns and short surveys are approaches for developing and enhancing the trust relationship. Organizations that are unwilling or unable to use virtual teams may find themselves losing out in an increasingly competitive and rapidly changing global economic and social environment. The technology and communication advances are clear, yet enabling effective participation and team collaboration is a more complex problem.
    Keywords: Virtual team effectiveness, Knowledge sharing, Trust,
    Date: 2014

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