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Uncorking knowledge- purposeful spillovers as a strategic tool for capability enhancement in the cork industry

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  • Soumodip Sarkar

    () (CEFAGE-UE
    University of Évora
    Harvard University)

Abstract

Abstract There is a growing body of research linking knowledge spillovers to strategic entrepreneurship in multiple contexts, yet the existence of purposeful spillovers has been largely ignored. This study analyses the value-accretive potential of knowledge spillover strategies, where a selected body of knowledge is purposefully and strategically disclosed to competitors. The cork industry provides the empirical context, with the many small firms possessing limited innovation capabilities in an industry under threat from rival alternative technologies. The successful fight-back against the onslaught on cork by synthetic and screwcap closures is led by the Portuguese company Corticeira Amorim, the world’s largest stopper manufacturer, whose knowhow then selectively spills-over to the rest of the industry. This multiple-case study involving 14 firms, unfolds in the context of two layers of underlying tensions. By exploring why and how knowledge selectively spillovers across filters from the industry leader to others, and knowledge revealing within small firms, the study contributes to extant literature by extending to the phenomenon of selected and purposeful spillover in the context of capability enhancement.

Suggested Citation

  • Soumodip Sarkar, 2017. "Uncorking knowledge- purposeful spillovers as a strategic tool for capability enhancement in the cork industry," International Entrepreneurship and Management Journal, Springer, vol. 13(1), pages 251-275, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:intemj:v:13:y:2017:i:1:d:10.1007_s11365-016-0395-6
    DOI: 10.1007/s11365-016-0395-6
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