nep-knm New Economics Papers
on Knowledge Management and Knowledge Economy
Issue of 2022‒06‒20
seven papers chosen by
Laura Nicola-Gavrila
Centrul European de Studii Manageriale în Administrarea Afacerilor

  1. Business groups as knowledge-based hierarchies of firms By Carlo Altomonte; Gianmarco I. P. Ottaviano; Armando Rungi; Tommaso Sonno
  2. Information Technology and Sustainability in Developing Countries: An Introduction By Simplice A. Asongu; Nicholas M. Odhiambo
  3. The demand for executive skills By Joe Fuller; Stephen Hansen; Tejas Ramdas; Raffaella Sadun
  4. Measuring Knowledge By Heckman, James J.; Zhou, Jin
  5. The Interplay between Organizational Structure, Culture and Employees’ Socio-Emotional Skills within Their Social Capital By Koohborfardhaghighi, Somayeh; Altmann, Jörn; Heshmati, Almas
  6. Intangibles and industry concentration: supersize me By Matej Bajgar; Chiara Criscuolo; Jonathan Timmis
  7. Going for growth that's sustainable and equitable By John Van Reenen

  1. By: Carlo Altomonte; Gianmarco I. P. Ottaviano; Armando Rungi; Tommaso Sonno
    Abstract: Hierarchical differentiation is a cornerstone of the organizing process. In this paper, we do three things. First, exploiting a newly assembled dataset, we provide the first worldwide overview of the patterns of hierarchical differentiation across Business Groups (BGs), highlighting the co-existence of different hierarchical shapes. Second, we show how the different shapes can arise as optimal hierarchical structures in a knowledge-based model of BGs when subsidiaries' operations involve ubiquitous problem solving under parents' supervision. Three primitive characteristics of a BG determine its optimal choice of hierarchical structure: production efficiency and two dimensions of problem solving efficiency related to supervising knowledge creation and handling associated communication across subsidiaries. Third, we check the consistency of the model's predictions with the empirical patterns for Europe, the US, and the world. The model successfully passes the consistency test.
    Keywords: business groups, knowledge hierarchies, multinational enterprises, organisation of production
    Date: 2021–10–15
  2. By: Simplice A. Asongu (Yaounde, Cameroon); Nicholas M. Odhiambo (Pretoria, South Africa)
    Abstract: The purpose of this special issue is to contribute to the growing body of literature on the externalities of information technology within the specific remit of the relationship between information technology and sustainability outcomes in developing countries, not least because of the sparse scholarship on the subject focusing on developing countries. Each of the seven selected contributions to knowledge solidly stands on its own merits, as summarized in three main strands, notably: (i) information technology usage; (ii) the nexus between ICT and growth outcomes at the urban and national levels and (iii) leveraging on ICT for poverty reduction.
    Keywords: Information technology; sustainability; developing countries
    JEL: D10 D14 D31 D60 O30
    Date: 2022–01
  3. By: Joe Fuller; Stephen Hansen; Tejas Ramdas; Raffaella Sadun
    Abstract: We use a unique corpus of job descriptions for C-suite positions to document skills requirements in top managerial occupations across a large sample of firms. A novel algorithm maps the text of each executive search into six separate skill clusters reflecting cognitive, interpersonal, and operational dimensions. The data show an increasing relevance of social skills in top managerial occupations, and a greater emphasis on social skills in larger and more information intensive organizations. The results suggest the need for training, search and governance mechanisms able to facilitate the match between firms and top executives along multiple and imperfectly observable skills.
    Keywords: job descriptions, skills requirements, C-suite positions
    Date: 2021–09–08
  4. By: Heckman, James J. (University of Chicago); Zhou, Jin (University of Chicago)
    Abstract: Empirical studies in the economics of education, the measurement of skill gaps across demographic groups, and the impacts of interventions on skill formation rely on psychometrically validated test scores that record the proportion of items correctly answered. Test scores are sometimes taken as measures of an invariant scale of human capital that can be compared over time and people. We show that for a prototypical test, invariance is violated. We use an unusually rich data set from an early childhood intervention program that measures knowledge of narrowly defined skills on essentially equivalent subsets of tasks. We examine if conventional, broadly-defined measures of skill are the same across people who are comparable on detailed knowledge measures. We reject the hypothesis of aggregate scale invariance and call into question the uncritical use of test scores in research on education and on skill formation. We compare different measures of skill and ability and reject the hypothesis of valid aggregate measures of skill.
    Keywords: testing child development, psychometrics, measurement of discrimination, human capital, demographic economics
    JEL: I21 C81 J71
    Date: 2022–04
  5. By: Koohborfardhaghighi, Somayeh (Deloitte FAS LLP); Altmann, Jörn (Seoul National University); Heshmati, Almas (Jönköping University, Sogang University)
    Abstract: Organization theorists identify organizational social capital as one of the primary building blocks of a potentially powerful resource for improving organizational performance. However, little is known about the impact of the socio-emotional skills of the employees within their social capital and its relationship with other important organizational constructs such as organizational culture and structure. This study is the first to develop an integrated model which in addition to existing organizational constructs (i.e., organizational culture and structure) explicitly accounts for the influence of the social tolerance of employees (i.e., an example of socio-emotional skills within a workplace) on their happiness. In our model, the concept of employee’s socio-emotional skill cannot be measured directly. Therefore, we developed two latent hypothetical sub-constructs and we refer to them throughout this paper as social capital (i.e., which at the micro-level points to the interactions and socializations of the employees) and social tolerance (i.e., social tolerance towards others’ social status), each of which is measured by its observable indicators. We apply our model to empirical data that we collected from East Asian Social Survey (EASS) only for the year 2012. The data was available for four East Asian countries of South Korea, Japan, Taiwan, and China. Our analysis shows that even though the skill of social tolerance is not observed to increase happiness by itself, it has been observed to show a significant impact on the level of trust among employees. Trust among colleagues also in its own turn significantly impacts the employees’ level of happiness. This finding can be applied in empowering the cognitive dimension of social capital within an organization.
    Keywords: organizational culture, organizational structure, social capital, structural equation modeling, social tolerance, happiness, Southeast Asia
    JEL: C31 D20 J29 L22 M14
    Date: 2022–05
  6. By: Matej Bajgar; Chiara Criscuolo; Jonathan Timmis
    Abstract: This paper presents new evidence on the growing scale of big businesses in the United States, Japan and 11 European countries. It documents a broad increase in industry concentration across the majority of countries and sectors over the period 2002 to 2014. The rising concentration is strongly associated with intensive investment in intangibles, particularly innovative assets, software and data, and this relationship is magnified in more globalized and digital-intensive industries. The results are consistent with intangibles disproportionately benefiting large firms and enabling them to scale up and raise their market shares, increasingly over time.
    Keywords: competition, industry and entrepreneurship, innovation
    Date: 2021–10–28
  7. By: John Van Reenen
    Abstract: In the second anniversary lecture marking 30 years since CEP began, former director John Van Reenen focused on productivity, an issue that has been at the heart of the Centre's work for three decades. He sets out how technological innovation and better management can bring about growth that is both inclusive and compatible with efforts to address the world's climate emergency.
    Keywords: Technological change, Productivity, environment, innovation, management, growth, climate
    Date: 2021–06–15

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