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At the Origins of Learning: Absorbing Knowledge Flows from Within or Outside the Team?

Author

Listed:
  • Charles Ayoubi

    (Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne)

  • Michele Pezzoni

    (Université Nice Sophia Antipolis
    GREDEG CNRS
    Bocconi University, CRIOS)

  • Fabiana Visentin

    (Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne)

Abstract

Empirical studies document a positive effect of collaboration on team productivity. The most common explanation to the teamwork productivity gain is that teamwork stimulates knowledge sharing among team members. However, little has been done to assess how knowledge flows among team members. Our study addresses this issue by exploring uniquely rich data on a Swiss funding program promoting team collaboration. We find that team characteristics play a key role in favoring knowledge flows among team members. Specifically, we find a significant effect of the social distance and an inverted U-shape effect of the cognitive distance of the team members on the probability of learning from within the team.

Suggested Citation

  • Charles Ayoubi & Michele Pezzoni & Fabiana Visentin, 2016. "At the Origins of Learning: Absorbing Knowledge Flows from Within or Outside the Team?," GREDEG Working Papers 2016-08, Groupe de REcherche en Droit, Economie, Gestion (GREDEG CNRS), University of Nice Sophia Antipolis.
  • Handle: RePEc:gre:wpaper:2016-08
    as

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    File URL: http://www.gredeg.cnrs.fr/working-papers/GREDEG-WP-2016-08.pdf
    File Function: First version, 2016
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Adams, James D. & Black, Grant C. & Clemmons, J. Roger & Stephan, Paula E., 2005. "Scientific teams and institutional collaborations: Evidence from U.S. universities, 1981-1999," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 34(3), pages 259-285, April.
    2. Adam B. Jaffe & Manuel Trajtenberg & Rebecca Henderson, 1993. "Geographic Localization of Knowledge Spillovers as Evidenced by Patent Citations," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 108(3), pages 577-598.
    3. Nooteboom, Bart & Van Haverbeke, Wim & Duysters, Geert & Gilsing, Victor & van den Oord, Ad, 2007. "Optimal cognitive distance and absorptive capacity," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 36(7), pages 1016-1034, September.
    4. Richard B. Freeman & Wei Huang, 2015. "Collaborating with People Like Me: Ethnic Coauthorship within the United States," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 33(S1), pages 289-318.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

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    Cited by:

    1. Charles Ayoubi & Michele Pezzoni & Fabiana Visentin, 2017. "The Important Thing is not to Win, it is to Take Part: What If Scientists Benefit from Participating in Competitive Grant Races?," GREDEG Working Papers 2017-27, Groupe de REcherche en Droit, Economie, Gestion (GREDEG CNRS), University of Nice Sophia Antipolis.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    team; learning process; knowledge flows; cognitive distance; social distance; geographical distance;

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