Frontiers in European Entrepreneurship Research
Edited by Mário Raposo, David Smallbone, Károly Balaton and Lilla Hortoványi
Chapter 10: The Emergence of a Knowledge-intensive Industry: A Study of the RFID Industry
10. The emergence of a knowledgeintensive industry: a study of the RFID industry David Finn and Colm O’Gorman INTRODUCTION The generation of new knowledge-based innovations is important not just to firms but also to regions and states (Drucker, 1993; Schumpeter, 1934). New growth theory argues that innovative activity is a key determinant of growth (Romer, 1990; Krugman, 1995). Regions that have successfully ‘spawned’ the commercialization of new technologies have enjoyed significant economic benefits (Audretsch and Lehmann, 2005). Therefore the question of how innovation leads to the emergence of new industries is an important one. Understanding the processes by which new industries emerge is of interest to scholars of entrepreneurship (Schumpeter, 1934; Romanelli and Schoonhoven, 2001), of economic growth (Audretsch, 1995; Porter, 1998), and of organizational studies (Aldrich, 1999; Hannan and Freeman, 1977). From a public policy practitioner perspective, identifying the factors that explain the emergence of high-tech and knowledge-intensive industry sectors is of particular interest. In many regions there are extensive policy efforts and investments to encourage new knowledge-based economic activity. These efforts often include policies and programmes to encourage and support the commercialization of technologies through the creation of new firms. The theoretical motivation of this research was to understand how new knowledge-intensive industries emerge and in particular the processes by which individuals create commercially successful innovations. While extant research highlights the role of entrepreneurial firms and knowledge spillovers during the early stages of some industries, a fundamental question on knowledge spillover that has received relatively little empirical attention...
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