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Knowledge Networks and Careers: Academic Scientists in Industry-University Links

  • Alice Lam

Careers are central to our understanding of the knowledge creation dynamics of network organizations. Based on the example of R&D project collaboration between firms and universities, this paper examines the emerging forms of career models that support knowledge flows between organizations. It explores how some large firms in the high-technology sectors have sought to break away from the limitations of internal R&D and firm-based careers for scientists by engaging in external collaborative projects to gain access to the open knowledge networks of university researchers. It examines how the firms seek to forge close institutional ties with their university partners and develop network career structures in order to engage academic scientists in joint knowledge production. It argues that firms have sought to extend their human resource and knowledge boundaries into the established internal labour markets of the universities with which they collaborate, leading to the formation of a pool of joint human resources with work experiences and career patterns straddling the two sectors. The paper develops the concept of an 'overlapping internal labour market' to provide a conceptual bridge between internal labour markets and network organizations. Copyright Blackwell Publishing Ltd 2007.

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Article provided by Wiley Blackwell in its journal Journal of Management Studies.

Volume (Year): 44 (2007)
Issue (Month): 6 (09)
Pages: 993-1016

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Handle: RePEc:bla:jomstd:v:44:y:2007:i:6:p:993-1016
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