Learning--by--Hiring: When Is Mobility More Likely to Facilitate Interfirm Knowledge Transfer?
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.
Volume (Year): 49 (2003)
Issue (Month): 4 (April)
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