nep-knm New Economics Papers
on Knowledge Management and Knowledge Economy
Issue of 2020‒06‒29
three papers chosen by
Laura Ştefănescu
Centrul European de Studii Manageriale în Administrarea Afacerilor

  1. Re-designing knowledge production in the Post-Covid-19 era. A task-based approach By Edoardo Ferucci; Francesco Rullani
  2. At The Roots Of The Fourth Industrial Revolution: How ICT Investments Affect Industry 4.0 Adoption By Marco Bettiol; Mauro Capestro; Eleonora Di Maria; Stefano Micelli
  3. Technological Competitiveness of China's Internet Platforms: Comparison of Google and Baidu Using Patent Text Information By MOTOHASHI Kazuyuki; ZHU Chen

  1. By: Edoardo Ferucci (LUISS University); Francesco Rullani (Dept. of Management, Università Ca' Foscari Venice)
    Abstract: This paper seeks to single out what micro-level working activities may be more conducive of faster Covid-19 transmission. We do so from an innovation perspective, knowing that knowledge production has an important component rooted in tacit knowledge, whose sharing is heavily based on physical interaction. Specifically, we hypothesize that communication-intense working activities (including those needed to transfer tacit knowledge) may accelerate Covid-19 contagion, and must be re-designed with more urgency and attention than other working activities that apparently may look as dangerous, such as selling or training. We test this empirically employing data from 9 different sources relative to US Metropolitan Statistical Areas, and confirm our hypothesis, eventually elaborating policy and managerial implications for dealing with innovation (and beyond) during the pandemic.
    Keywords: covid-19, pandemic, organizational processes, micro tasks, professions
    JEL: O32
    Date: 2020–06
  2. By: Marco Bettiol (DSEA - University of Padova); Mauro Capestro (DSEA - University of Padova); Eleonora Di Maria (DSEA - University of Padova); Stefano Micelli (Department of Management - Ca’ Foscari University)
    Abstract: The debate on the adoption of industry 4.0 technologies focuses on the transformation of organizations and business opportunities towards a new industrial revolution, driven by a recent emerging technological scenario. Despite this growing discussion, little has been said on the relationship with the previous waves of digital technologies and specifically how Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) are related with the adoption of industry 4.0 technologies. The paper explores the relationship between the antecedents driving industry 4.0 investments, examining how the firm’s ICT endowment relates to the industry 4.0 technologies adopted, in terms of intensity as well as of types of ICT associated with specific types of industry 4.0 technologies, and the role of strategic motivations on the investment 4.0. Based on unique data gathered in 2017 on a sample of 1,229 Italian firms, results on 165 adopters show the positive relation between the adoption of ICT and industry 4.0 technologies as well as between specific groups of ICT technologies – that we identify into three ones: web ICT, management ICT, and manufacturing ICT – and groups of industry 4.0 ones (data-driven tech 4.0, production tech 4.0, and customization tech 4.0). Results highlight the strong connection between firm experience with prior digital investments and the consequent Industry 4.0 adoption. Moreover, there is a relation between specific clusters of ICT technologies – Web ICT, Operation ICT, and Management ICT – and industry 4.0 technologies. Among the strategic motivations driving industry 4.0 the relevant one is product variety, consistently with the selective technologies chosen, taking into account the ICT path of adoption. On the contrary efficiency is negatively related to the adoption of industry 4.0 technologies, stressing the more important role of market-driven variables for technological investments. A second relevant result is related to the role of ICT-related competences firms have to internally develop in order to adopt industry 4.0 technologies, beyond size. For firms – also SMEs – it becomes more important in the context of “Industry 4.0†to rely on internal resources (know-how connected to the ICT domain) that can positively enact the selection and exploitation of industry 4.0 technologies. As a policy implication, pushing the adoption of industry 4.0 technologies in firms with limited ICT resources should be coupled with actions supporting the development of such know-how and broader ICT competences as the roots for industry 4.0.
    Keywords: digital technologies, ICT, strategy, industry 4.0, fourth industrial revolution
    Date: 2020–06
  3. By: MOTOHASHI Kazuyuki; ZHU Chen
    Abstract: Internet platforms in China (BAT: Baidu, Alibaba, Tencent) are receiving growing attention in terms of their technological competitiveness compared to US players (GAFA: Google, Amazon, Facebook, Apple). Using text information of patent information in China and the US, this study analyzes Baidu's technological catching up process with Google. Based on document-level embedding results, we conduct cluster analysis and generate new indicators of technology cumulativeness and impact based on neighbor patents in the content space. The results reveal that Baidu follows a trend of US rather than Chinese technology which suggests Baidu is aggressively seeking to catch up with US players in the process of its technological development. At the same time, the impact index of Baidu patents increases over time, reflecting its upgrading of technological competitiveness.
    Date: 2020–05

This nep-knm issue is ©2020 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.