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Understanding Scientific Mobility: Characteristics, Location Decisions, and Knowledge Circulation. A Case Study of Internationally Mobile Austrian Scientists and Researchers

  • Kurka, Bernhard
  • Trippl, Michaela
  • Maier, Gunther

In today's knowledge-based global economy, highly qualified people acting as carriers of knowledge are playing a crucial role for the growth and development of organizations, cities and regions. Top-talent is regarded as the major source of innovation and competitive advantage, particularly in science and research. Highly skilled and educated workers, such as scientists and scholars, who are transferring their embodied knowledge from one place to another through geographical mobility, are referred to as knowledge spillover agents (KSA). Considering this context it is important to develop an understanding of the motivational dynamics, location factors and knowledge flows associated with mobility decisions of scientists and researchers. Based on qualitative data from in-depth interviews with Austrian scientists who are either currently staying abroad or have already returned this explorative study identifies some characteristics of scientific mobility, investigates the most relevant push and pull factors as well as sheds some light on the motivational dynamics at the individual level. acting as carriers of knowledge are playing a crucial role for the growth and development of organizations, cities and regions. Top-talent is regarded as the major source of innovation and competitive advantage, particularly in science and research. Highly skilled and educated workers, such as scientists and scholars, who are transferring their embodied knowledge from one place to another through geographical mobility, are referred to as knowledge spillover agents (KSA). Considering this context it is important to develop an understanding of the motivational dynamics, location factors and knowledge flows associated with mobility decisions of scientists and researchers. Based on qualitative data from in-depth interviews with Austrian scientists who are either currently staying abroad or have already returned this explorative study identifies some characteristics of scientific mobility, investigates the most relevant push and pull factors as well as sheds some light on the motivational dynamics at the individual level.

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Paper provided by Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI) in its series Papers with number DYNREG30.

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Length: 26 pages
Date of creation: 2008
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:esr:wpaper:dynreg30
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