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Edited by David Rooney, Greg Hearn and Tim Kastelle
Chapter 8: A Conceptual Model of Capability Learning for the Twenty-first-Century Knowledge Economy
Ruth Bridgstock and Greg Hearn INTRODUCTION Once a rhetorical construct, the growth of the knowledge economy can now be observed empirically (Powell and Snellman, 2004). It can be seen in, for example, growth in numbers of patents, and growth in the number of fields in which patents are filed; an increase in the numbers of knowledge-based workers; and the growing information intensity of most jobs (Powell and Snellman, 2004). Research and development (R&D) activities produce these knowledge assets at the beginning of the value chain. However, it is now recognized that forms of intellectual property (IP) at the consumption end of the value chain, such as creative copyrights, brands and sophisticated marketing systems, must also be acknowledged as knowledge economy indicators (Hearn and Rooney, 2008; Mudambi, 2008). Mudambi (2008) in fact suggests the fundamental feature of knowledge-intensive industries is that they are built on intangible assets, not only via legally defensible rents (patents, copyrights and brands), but also through ways of organizing these intellectual resources via inimitable organizational structures and inter-organizational relationships. The creation and control of these assets are often the source of most captured value in the total supply chain. That is, value-add is becoming increasingly concentrated at the upstream and downstream ends of the value chain. At the ‘input’ end this involves R&D knowledge (basic and applied research and design), while at the ‘output’ end this involves knowledge that connects with consumers (marketing, advertising, brand management and consumer experience). In effect, this means the knowledge...
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