Technology, Knowledge and the Firm

Technology, Knowledge and the Firm

Implications for Strategy and Industrial Change

Edited by Ken Green, Marcela Miozzo and Paul Dewick

There is a long-standing tradition of research that highlights the importance of differences in the organizational and technological capabilities of firms and their effect on economic performance. This book expands on this theme by exploring the role of knowledge and innovation in firm strategy and industrial change. Underlying the volume is the belief that firms have distinctive methods of operation and that these processes have a strong element of continuity.

Chapter 11: Nonlinear Dynamism of Innovation and Knowledge Transfer

Masaaki Hirooka

Subjects: business and management, knowledge management, organisational innovation, innovation and technology, innovation policy, knowledge management, organisational innovation


Masaaki Hirooka1 1. INTRODUCTION This chapter proposes a new concept for innovation and knowledge transfer. This approach offers a powerful tool to analyse ongoing innovation and knowledge transfer in a rapidly changing global economy. In the economic study of innovation so far, the diffusion of innovation, market trends and the behaviour of firms have been intensively discussed. There is, however, a long latent period of technology development before the beginning of the diffusion of innovation. This technology development period has not been sufficiently treated: it is a black box. This chapter throws light on this technology development period and thus it becomes possible to discuss an innovation paradigm as a comprehensive system consisting of two periods of technology development and product diffusion. One of the important findings of this study is the nonlinear nature of innovation and knowledge transfer. The market for innovation products reaches an ultimate maturity which never exceeds some limit. This relationship is well described by a logistic equation and we designate this locus described by a logistic equation as a ‘trajectory’. A new finding presented in this chapter is that technology development itself has a nonlinear nature and can be described by a logistic equation. This is the main subject of this chapter; and central to this is the knowledge transfer phenomenon in the course of innovation. This chapter is organized as follows. As a background, section 1 introduces the concept of innovation diffusion as a logistics curve and o...

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