Connecting the Firm to External Knowledge
Chapter 9: The Impact of Occupation and Education of R & D Personnel on Knowledge Exchange
9. The impact of occupation and education of R&D personnel on knowledge exchange 9.1 INTRODUCTION Due to the complexity and knowledge intensity of developing new products and processes, the R&D-active company has to look elsewhere to complement its internal R&D efforts (Cassiman and Veugelers, 2006). To this end a company is able to engage in collaborative agreements that can have a formal or informal character (Bönte and Keilbach, 2005). At least two issues can be addressed by such an agreement. First, a collaboration agreement can spell out the exact arrangement between the partners involved as regards the costs and organisational engagements. Second, the agreement might include appropriability issues if the aim of collaboration is to devise a new product or set up a new process (Gulati and Singh, 1998; Helper et al., 2000). Hence the IP management of companies becomes a vital issue. This is especially the case in the early stages of formal R&D collaborations (Bader, 2006). Knowledge stocks and flows are recognised as a crucial element of value creation in firms (Kang et al., 2007). This chapter adds to the knowledgebased view of firms, which sees them as repositories of competences and knowledge (Kogut and Zander, 1996; Grant, 1996) by devoting more attention to the embodiment of these competences with respect to the ability to cooperate and to share knowledge. Knowledge-generation often results from new combinations of existing knowledge (Cohen and Levinthal, 1990). This is not restricted to the boundaries of the firm...
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