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Implementing an R&D Strategy without Prior R&D-Experience Recruitment as a Source of R&D-related Routines and Capabilities?

Author

Listed:
  • Ahlin, Lina

    () (CIRCLE, Lund University)

  • Andersson, Martin

    () (CIRCLE, Lund University)

  • Schubert , Torben

    () (CIRCLE, Lund University and Fraunhofer Institute for Systems and Innovation Research (ISI))

Abstract

Evolutionary economic theorizing and related approaches explain persistent heterogeneity in R&D activities between firms with persistent inter-firm differences in R&D-related routines and capabilities. Emphasizing the importance experiential learning leading to pathdependence of R&D strategies, this raises the question of how firms can organize strategy transitions towards continuous R&D, in particular, if they had not been R&D active before. Building on a growing literature trying to identify the micro-foundations of organizational routines and capabilities, we argue that recruitment of experienced R&D workers is an important means by which firms without prior internal R&D experience can build routines and capabilities needed to implement and sustain an R&D strategy shift. We test our predictions using rich matched employer-employee panel data for Sweden, which allows for the identification of firms that implement a strategy of continuous R&D activities without prior R&D experience. Our findings confirm recruitment of experienced R&D workers as an important mechanism by which firms prepare and sustain a transition towards persistent R&D.

Suggested Citation

  • Ahlin, Lina & Andersson, Martin & Schubert , Torben, 2013. "Implementing an R&D Strategy without Prior R&D-Experience Recruitment as a Source of R&D-related Routines and Capabilities?," Papers in Innovation Studies 2013/3, Lund University, CIRCLE - Center for Innovation, Research and Competences in the Learning Economy.
  • Handle: RePEc:hhs:lucirc:2013_003
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Richard R. Nelson & Sidney G. Winter, 2002. "Evolutionary Theorizing in Economics," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 16(2), pages 23-46, Spring.
    2. Koen Frenken & Ron A. Boschma, 2007. "A theoretical framework for evolutionary economic geography: industrial dynamics and urban growth as a branching process," Journal of Economic Geography, Oxford University Press, vol. 7(5), pages 635-649, September.
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    4. Mika Maliranta & Pierre Mohnen & Petri Rouvinen, 2009. "Is inter-firm labor mobility a channel of knowledge spillovers? Evidence from a linked employer--employee panel," Industrial and Corporate Change, Oxford University Press, vol. 18(6), pages 1161-1191, December.
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    6. Torben Schubert & Léopold Simar, 2011. "Innovation and export activities in the German mechanical engineering sector: an application of testing restrictions in production analysis," Journal of Productivity Analysis, Springer, vol. 36(1), pages 55-69, August.
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    Cited by:

    1. Herstad, Sverre J. & Sandven, Tore & Ebersberger, Bernd, 2015. "Recruitment, knowledge integration and modes of innovation," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 44(1), pages 138-153.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    routines; capabilities; R&D strategy; micro-foundations; recruitment;

    JEL classification:

    • D22 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - Firm Behavior: Empirical Analysis
    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity
    • J63 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Turnover; Vacancies; Layoffs
    • O31 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Innovation and Invention: Processes and Incentives
    • O32 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Management of Technological Innovation and R&D

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