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Knowledge acquisition within an organization: How to retain a knowledge worker using wage profile and non-monotonic knowledge accumulation

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  • Ngo Van Long
  • Antoine Soubeyran
  • Raphael Soubeyran

Abstract

In this paper, we consider a knowledge accumulation problem within an organization. We depart from the human capital theory initiated by Becker (1962, 1964) and consider an organization that cannot prevent the worker from quitting and using the knowledge outside the organization. We study how the employer optimally distorts the knowledge accumulation path and chooses a wage profile in order to mitigate the commitment problem. We show that knowledge accumulation is delayed: the fraction of working time allocated to knowledge creation is highest at the early career stage, falls gradually, then rises again, before falling finally toward zero. We determine the effect of a change in the severity of the enforcement problem (or the specificity of knowledge). We also discuss the form of the optimal life-cycle wage profiles, the role of the initial knowledge level and the role of discounting Dans ce papier, nous considérons un problème d'accumulation de connaissances dans une organisation. Nous partons de la théorie du capital humain lancée par Becker (1962, 1964) et considérons une organisation qui ne peut pas empêcher un employé de quitter et d'utiliser la connaissance à l'extérieur de l'organisation. Nous montrons comment l'employeur manipule de façon optimale le sentier d'accumulation de connaissances et choisit un profil de salaire pour atténuer le problème d'engagement. Nous montrons que l'accumulation de connaissances est retardée : la fraction de temps alloué à la création de connaissances est la plus haute au premier stade de la carrière, puis elle tombe progressivement, ensuite, elle monte de nouveau, avant de tomber finalement vers le zéro. Nous déterminons l'effet de la spécificité de connaissances. Nous discutons aussi la forme des profils de salaire optimaux, le rôle du niveau de connaissance initial et du rôle du fait du taux d'actualisation.

Suggested Citation

  • Ngo Van Long & Antoine Soubeyran & Raphael Soubeyran, 2014. "Knowledge acquisition within an organization: How to retain a knowledge worker using wage profile and non-monotonic knowledge accumulation," CIRANO Working Papers 2014s-32, CIRANO.
  • Handle: RePEc:cir:cirwor:2014s-32
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    File URL: https://cirano.qc.ca/files/publications/2014s-32.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Keywords

    Human capital; hold-up; contract; Capital humain; hold-up; contrat;

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