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External R&D: Exploring The Functions And Qualifications Of R&D Personnel

  • ANDRÉ SPITHOVEN

    ()

    (Belgian Science Policy Office, Avenue Louise 231, 1050 Brussels, Belgium; Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Pleinlaan 2, 1050 Brussels, Belgium)

  • PETER TEIRLINCK

    ()

    (Hogeschool Universiteit Brussel, Stormstraat 2, 1000 Brussels, Belgium; Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Pleinlaan 2, 1050 Brussels, Belgium)

Knowledge has become an important production factor. Tacit knowledge is embodied in the minds of people, and is part and parcel of their skills. Since businesses concentrate on strategic tasks, many others are outsourced. This also applies to R&D. External knowledge sources help firms to leverage their internal R&D efforts. Internal and external knowledge have to be knitted together on the work floor giving rise to innovative products and processes. Since tacit knowledge is embodied in personnel, it is interesting to look at the role of the functions and the qualifications of R&D personnel in relation to activities developed in the framework of technical collaboration agreements. Using the OECD business R&D survey for Belgium, insights are offered in the way that external knowledge impacts on the organisation of the internal division of labour. It is demonstrated that absorptive capacity, embodied in people, is a key element in using external knowledge.

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Article provided by World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd. in its journal International Journal of Innovation Management.

Volume (Year): 14 (2010)
Issue (Month): 06 ()
Pages: 967-987

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