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Learning--by--Hiring: When Is Mobility More Likely to Facilitate Interfirm Knowledge Transfer?

Author

Listed:
  • Jaeyong Song

    (School of Business, Yonsei University, Seoul, Korea 120--749)

  • Paul Almeida

    (McDonough School of Business, Georgetown University, Washington, DC 20057)

  • Geraldine Wu

    (Graduate School of Business, Columbia University, New York, New York 10027)

Abstract

To investigate the conditions under which learning-by-hiring (or the acquisition of knowledge through the hiring of experts from other firms) is more likely, we study the patenting activities of engineers who moved from United States (U.S.) firms to non-U.S. firms. Statistical findings from negative binomial regressions show that mobility is more likely to result in interfirm knowledge transfer when (1) the hiring firm is less path dependent, (2) the hired engineers possess technological expertise distant from that of the hiring firm, and (3) the hired engineers work in noncore technological areas in their new firm. In addition, the results support the idea that domestic mobility and international mobility are similarly conducive to learning-by-hiring. Thus, our paper suggests that learning-by-hiring can be useful when hired engineers are used for exploring technologically distant knowledge (rather than for reinforcing existing firm expertise) and also for extending the hiring firm's geographic reach.

Suggested Citation

  • Jaeyong Song & Paul Almeida & Geraldine Wu, 2003. "Learning--by--Hiring: When Is Mobility More Likely to Facilitate Interfirm Knowledge Transfer?," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 49(4), pages 351-365, April.
  • Handle: RePEc:inm:ormnsc:v:49:y:2003:i:4:p:351-365
    DOI: 10.1287/mnsc.49.4.351.14429
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    References listed on IDEAS

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