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Sources of Knowledge Used by Entrepreneurial Firms in the European High-Tech Sector

Author

Listed:
  • Sara Amoroso

    () (European Commission - JRC)

  • David B. Audretsch

    () (Indiana University)

  • Albert N. Link

    () (Bryan School of Business and Economics University of North Carolina-Greensboro)

Abstract

The purpose of this paper is to explore the relationship between an entrepreneur’s experience and education and his/her reliance on alternative sources of knowledge for exploring new business opportunities. The extant literature that is at the crossroads between sources of knowledge and the experiential and intellectual base of an entrepreneur (i.e., dimensions of his/her human capital) suggests that it is through experience and through education that an entrepreneur obtains knowledge. Using information on a sample of high-tech manufacturing firms across 10 European countries, we explore heterogeneities in the influence of experience, age, and education of the firm’s primary founder on the perceived importance of (i.e., use of) alternative sources of knowledge. We find that the association of these characteristics differs significantly across sources of knowledge, and across European regions. Education is positively related to the importance of knowledge from research institutes and internal know-how, while age is negatively related to the importance of research institutes and positively related to publications and conferences. On the one hand, in South/East European countries, the importance of internal know-how is positively associated with age and education, but negatively associated with experience. On the other hand, the characteristics of primary founders of North/West European firms are more linked to the importance of the participation to funded research programmes. This source of knowledge is related positively with age and education and negatively with experience.

Suggested Citation

  • Sara Amoroso & David B. Audretsch & Albert N. Link, 2017. "Sources of Knowledge Used by Entrepreneurial Firms in the European High-Tech Sector," JRC Working Papers on Corporate R&D and Innovation 2017-03, Joint Research Centre (Seville site).
  • Handle: RePEc:ipt:wpaper:201703
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Niccolò Ghio & Massimiliano Guerini & Erik Lehmann & Cristina Rossi-Lamastra, 2015. "The emergence of the knowledge spillover theory of entrepreneurship," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 44(1), pages 1-18, January.
    2. Pontus Braunerhjelm & Ding Ding & Per Thulin, 2018. "The knowledge spillover theory of intrapreneurship," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 51(1), pages 1-30, June.
    3. Albert N. Link & Christopher A. Swann, 2016. "R&D as an investment in knowledge based capital," Economia e Politica Industriale: Journal of Industrial and Business Economics, Springer;Associazione Amici di Economia e Politica Industriale, vol. 43(1), pages 11-24, March.
    4. Schultz, Theodore W, 1975. "The Value of the Ability to Deal with Disequilibria," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 13(3), pages 827-846, September.
    5. David B. Audretsch, 1995. "Innovation and Industry Evolution," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262011468, October.
    6. Kaiser, Ulrich, 2002. "Measuring knowledge spillovers in manufacturing and services: an empirical assessment of alternative approaches," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 31(1), pages 125-144, January.
    7. Audretsch, David B. & Lehmann, Erik E., 2016. "The Seven Secrets of Germany: Economic Resilience in an Era of Global Turbulence," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780190258696.
    8. Carlos Vivas & Andrés Barge-Gil, 2015. "Impact On Firms Of The Use Of Knowledge External Sources: A Systematic Review Of The Literature," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 29(5), pages 943-964, December.
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    Keywords

    Entrepreneurship; Knowledge; Experience; Education; Human Capital;

    JEL classification:

    • L26 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior - - - Entrepreneurship
    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity
    • D83 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Search; Learning; Information and Knowledge; Communication; Belief; Unawareness

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