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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?

  • Ahlin, Lina

    ()

    (CIRCLE, Lund University)

  • Andersson, Martin

    ()

    (CIRCLE, Lund University)

  • Schubert , Torben

    ()

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

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.

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Paper provided by Lund University, CIRCLE - Center for Innovation, Research and Competences in the Learning Economy in its series Papers in Innovation Studies with number 2013/3.

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Length: 28 pages
Date of creation: 02 May 2013
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:hhs:lucirc:2013_003
Contact details of provider: Postal: CIRCLE, Lund University, PO Box 117, SE-22100 Lund, Sweden
Phone: +46 (0) 46 222 74 68
Web page: http://www.circle.lu.se/

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  1. Mundlak, Yair, 1978. "On the Pooling of Time Series and Cross Section Data," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 46(1), pages 69-85, January.
  2. 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.
  3. Alfred Kleinknecht & Kees Van Montfort & Erik Brouwer, 2002. "The Non-Trivial Choice between Innovation Indicators," Economics of Innovation and New Technology, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 11(2), pages 109-121.
  4. Michael Porter, 1994. "The Role of Location in Competition," International Journal of the Economics of Business, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 1(1), pages 35-40.
  5. Cefis, Elena, 2003. "Is there persistence in innovative activities?," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 21(4), pages 489-515, April.
  6. Maliranta, Mika & Mohnen, Pierre & Rouvinen, Petri, 2008. "Is Inter-Firm Labor Mobility a Channel of Knowledge spillovers? Evidence from a Linked Employer-Employee Panel," MERIT Working Papers 005, United Nations University - Maastricht Economic and Social Research Institute on Innovation and Technology (MERIT).
  7. Koen Frenken & Ron A. Boschma, 2007. "A theoretical framework for Evolutionary Economic Geography: Industrial dynamics and urban growth as a branching process," Papers in Evolutionary Economic Geography (PEEG) 0701, Utrecht University, Section of Economic Geography, revised Mar 2007.
  8. Jaeyong Song & Paul Almeida & Geraldine Wu, 2003. "Learning--by--Hiring: When Is Mobility More Likely to Facilitate Interfirm Knowledge Transfer?," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 49(4), pages 351-365, April.
  9. 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.
  10. Simon Oertel & Peter Walgenbach, 2009. "How the Organizational Ecology Approach Can Enrich Business Research on Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises – Three Areas for Future Research," Schmalenbach Business Review (sbr), LMU Munich School of Management, vol. 61(3), pages 250-269, July.
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