nep-knm New Economics Papers
on Knowledge Management and Knowledge Economy
Issue of 2022‒07‒18
three papers chosen by
Laura Nicola-Gavrila
Centrul European de Studii Manageriale în Administrarea Afacerilor

  1. The roles of knowledge intermediaries in sustainability transitions and digitalization: Academia driven fostering of socio technical transitions? By Bäumle, Philipp; Hirschmann, Daniel; Feser, Daniel
  2. The Evolution of Competitiveness across Economic, Innovation and Knowledge production activities By Aurelio Patelli; Lorenzo Napolitano; Giulio Cimini; Emanuele Pugliese; Andrea Gabrielli
  3. Systems of innovation, diversification, and the R&D trap: a case study of Kuwait By Arman, Husam; Iammarino, Simona; Ibarra-Olivo, J. Eduardo; Lee, Neil

  1. By: Bäumle, Philipp; Hirschmann, Daniel; Feser, Daniel
    Abstract: The concept of intermediation is central to current approaches to innovation policy. While the extant literature distinguishes between academia driven knowledge intermediaries supporting the commercialization of academic knowledge and public intermediaries focusing on the support of socio technical transition processes, little is known about the roles and activities of knowledge intermediaries in sustainability transitions and digitalization, even though the systemic coaction of different intermediaries is essential for policy making. This understudied issue is explored using an explorative-qualitative approach and empirical evidence from interviews of participants in regional knowledge intermediation initiatives. We find that knowledge intermediaries proactively contribute to the two socio technical transitions in question by performing three roles: (i) information dissemination via events, (ii) knowledge exchange via network building, and (iii) implementation support via consulting. Furthermore, we identify additional roles concerning the identification and monitoring of new projects emerging from the interplay between sustainability and digitalization. Working at the intersection of both transitions and cognizant of the effects of digitalization on sustainability, knowledge intermediaries are key actors in fostering digitalization processes that preclude rebound effects on sustainability or contribute to sustainability transitions. This paper contributes to current scholarly discussions by closing the conceptual gap between knowledge and transition intermediaries and emphasizing the interdependencies between digitalization and sustainability.
    Keywords: knowledge intermediaries,transition intermediaries,sustainability transition,digitalization,higher education institutions,qualitative case studies
    JEL: I29 O32 O39 Q29
    Date: 2022
  2. By: Aurelio Patelli; Lorenzo Napolitano; Giulio Cimini; Emanuele Pugliese; Andrea Gabrielli
    Abstract: The evolution of economic and innovation systems at the national scale is shaped by a complex dynamics, the footprint of which is the nested structure of the activities in which different countries are competitive. Nestedness is a persistent feature across multiple kinds (layers) of activities related to the production of knowledge and goods: scientific research, technological innovation, industrial production and trade. We observe that in the layers of innovation and trade the competitiveness of countries correlates unambiguously with their diversification, while the science layer displays some peculiar feature. The evolution of scientific domains leads to an increasingly modular structure, in which the most developed nations become less competitive in the less advanced scientific domains, where they are replaced by the emerging countries. This observation is in line with a capability-based view of the evolution of economic systems, but with a slight twist. Indeed, while the accumulation of specific know-how and skills is a fundamental step towards development, resource constraints force countries to acquire competitiveness in the more complex research fields at the price of losing ground in more basic, albeit less visible (or more crowded), fields. This tendency towards a relatively specialized basket of capabilities leads to a trade-off between the need to diversify in order to evolve and the need to allocate resources efficiently. Collaborative patterns among developed nations reduce the necessity to be competitive in the less sophisticated fields, freeing resources for the more complex domains.
    Date: 2022–06
  3. By: Arman, Husam; Iammarino, Simona; Ibarra-Olivo, J. Eduardo; Lee, Neil
    Abstract: The relationship between R&D investment and economic development is well established. Yet at a global scale, the resource rich countries of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) are consistent outliers in this relationship, combining rich-world national incomes with R&D expenditure of developing countries. This paper uses a case study on Kuwait to illustrate a particular form of developmental trap, a version of the resource curse which makes it irrational for private business firms to invest in R&D and innovation. Based on an analysis of the literature and secondary data, focus groups, and an original survey of large manufacturing firms, we argue that a narrow focus on R&D-led diversification of economic activity ignores the systemic problems faced by Kuwait, and particularly the unsuitable supply of skills and capabilities provided by the national education and training system.
    Keywords: R&D; innovation systems; diversifiication; resource curse; Kuwait; Kuwait Programme Academic Collaboration Grant from the LSE’s Middle East Centre
    JEL: R14 J01
    Date: 2022–04–01

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