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Overcoming localization of knowledge: The role of professional service firms

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  • Stefan Wagner

    (ESMT European School of Management and Technology)

  • Karin Hoisl

    (University of Munich)

  • Grid Thoma

    (University of Camerino)

Abstract

The literature on organizational learning asserts that external learning is often limited geographically and technologically. We scrutinize to what extent organizations acquire external knowledge by accessing external knowledge repositories. We argue that professional service firms (PSFs) grant access to nonlocalized knowledge repositories and thereby not only facilitate external learning but also help to overcome localization. Focusing on patent law firms, we test our predictions using a unique dataset of 544,820 pairs of EP patent applications. Analyzing patterns of knowledge flows captured in patent citations we find that accessing a PSF’s repository facilitates the acquisition of external knowledge. As the effect is more pronounced for knowledge that is distant to a focal organization we conclude that having access to a knowledge repository compensates for localization disadvantages.

Suggested Citation

  • Stefan Wagner & Karin Hoisl & Grid Thoma, 2013. "Overcoming localization of knowledge: The role of professional service firms," ESMT Research Working Papers ESMT-13-09, ESMT European School of Management and Technology.
  • Handle: RePEc:esm:wpaper:esmt-13-09
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    Cited by:

    1. Mario Kafouros & Niron Hashai & Janja Annabel Tardios & Elizabeth Yi Wang, 2022. "How do MNEs invent? An invention-based perspective of MNE profitability," Journal of International Business Studies, Palgrave Macmillan;Academy of International Business, vol. 53(7), pages 1420-1448, September.
    2. Kim, Young-Choon & Rhee, Mooweon & Kotha, Reddi, 2019. "Many hands: The effect of the prior inventor-intermediaries relationship on academic licensing," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 48(3), pages 813-829.
    3. Gaétan de Rassenfosse & Martin Kracker & Gianluca Tarasconi, 2017. "Getting Started with PATSTAT Register," Australian Economic Review, The University of Melbourne, Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, vol. 50(1), pages 110-120, March.
    4. Kleine, Marco & Heite, Jonas & Huber, Laura Rosendahl, 2022. "Subsidized R&D collaboration: The causal effect of innovation vouchers on innovation outcomes," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 51(6).
    5. SUN, Yu-tao & ZHANG, Chen & WANG, Jin-min, 2022. "How to Benefit from Balancing External Knowledge Acquisition? A Chinese EIT Industry Case," Technological Forecasting and Social Change, Elsevier, vol. 178(C).
    6. Jurgen Poesche & Taina Pihlajarinne & Anette Alén-Savikko & Timo Nyberg & Ilkka Kauranen, 2019. "Decentralized Production: The Need for Social Norms-Based Intellectual Property?," International Journal of Innovation and Technology Management (IJITM), World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd., vol. 16(02), pages 1-18, April.
    7. Adam B. Jaffe & Gaétan de Rassenfosse, 2017. "Patent citation data in social science research: Overview and best practices," Journal of the Association for Information Science & Technology, Association for Information Science & Technology, vol. 68(6), pages 1360-1374, June.
    8. Ashish Arora & Sharon Belenzon & Honggi Lee, 2018. "Reversed citations and the localization of knowledge spillovers," Journal of Economic Geography, Oxford University Press, vol. 18(3), pages 495-521.
    9. René Belderbos & Helen S. Du & Anthony Goerzen, 2017. "Global Cities, Connectivity, and the Location Choice of MNC Regional Headquarters," Journal of Management Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 54(8), pages 1271-1302, December.
    10. Anand Nandkumar & Kannan Srikanth, 2016. "Right person in the right place: How the host country IPR influences the distribution of inventors in offshore R&D projects of multinational enterprises," Strategic Management Journal, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 37(8), pages 1715-1733, August.
    11. Cyril Verluise & Gabriele Cristelli & Kyle Higham & Gaetan de Rassenfosse, 2020. "The Missing 15 Percent of Patent Citations," Working Papers 13, Chair of Science, Technology, and Innovation Policy.
    12. Mukund Chari & H. Kevin Steensma & Charles Connaughton, 2020. "Previous and Prospective Career Mobility, Client Capture, and Compromised Professional Judgment: The Withholding of Known Relevant Prior Art by Patent Lawyers on Behalf of Their Clients," Organization Science, INFORMS, vol. 31(2), pages 489-507, March.
    13. Chen, Jian-xun & Zhang, Bo & Zhan, Wu & Sharma, Piyush & Budhwar, Pawan & Tan, Hui, 2022. "Demystifying the non-linear effect of high commitment work systems (HCWS) on firms’ strategic intention of exploratory innovation: An extended resource-based view," Technovation, Elsevier, vol. 116(C).
    14. Mengxing Song & Lingling Guo & Jianwei Shen, 2023. "The Relationship between Alumni Network and Exploratory Innovation: The Mediating Role of Enterprise Risk-Taking," Sustainability, MDPI, vol. 15(22), pages 1-18, November.
    15. Sara Scipioni & Meir Russ & Federico Niccolini, 2021. "From Barriers to Enablers: The Role of Organizational Learning in Transitioning SMEs into the Circular Economy," Sustainability, MDPI, vol. 13(3), pages 1-31, January.
    16. Wang, Qinyu Ryan & Zheng, Yanfeng, 2023. "Patent regime and the geography of cumulative innovation," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 52(7).
    17. Krzysztof Klincewicz & Szymon Szumiał, 2022. "Successful patenting—not only how, but with whom: the importance of patent attorneys," Scientometrics, Springer;Akadémiai Kiadó, vol. 127(9), pages 5111-5137, September.
    18. Linda Argote & Sunkee Lee & Jisoo Park, 2021. "Organizational Learning Processes and Outcomes: Major Findings and Future Research Directions," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 67(9), pages 5399-5429, September.
    19. van den Oever, Koen, 2017. "Uncharted waters : A behavioral approach to when, why and which organizational changes are adopted," Other publications TiSEM 0136c8c2-ecdd-4f82-8ca7-d, Tilburg University, School of Economics and Management.
    20. Atakhan-Kenneweg, Melda & Oerlemans, Leon A.G. & Raab, Jörg, 2021. "New inter-organizational knowledge tie formation after firm relocation: Investigating the impact of spatial, relational, and temporal context," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 127(C), pages 264-276.
    21. Yanfeng Zheng & Qinyu (Ryan) Wang, 2020. "Shadow of the great firewall: The impact of Google blockade on innovation in China," Strategic Management Journal, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 41(12), pages 2234-2260, December.
    22. Baruffaldi, Stefano H. & Simeth, Markus, 2020. "Patents and knowledge diffusion: The effect of early disclosure," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 49(4).
    23. Margherita Russo & Annalisa Caloffi & Federica Rossi & Riccardo Righi, 2016. "Designing performance-based incentives for innovation intermediaries: Evidence from regional innovation poles," Working Papers 34, Birkbeck Centre for Innovation Management Research, revised Nov 2016.

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    Keywords

    Learning; knowledge acquisition; localization; patent citations; professional service firm;
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