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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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    1. repec:bla:jinfst:v:68:y:2017:i:6:p:1360-1374 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. 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.
    3. 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.
    4. Ashish Arora & Sharon Belenzon & Honggi Lee, 2017. "Reversed Citations and the Localization of Knowledge Spillovers," NBER Working Papers 23036, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. 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.

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    Keywords

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

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