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Business School - Research Office
Oxford Brookes Business School
Location: Headington/ Clerici/ not assigned
This study proposes a new theoretical approach to conceptualizing the knowledge environment as a mosaic of knowledge components stemming from organizational knowledge actions. The pieces of this imaginary mosaic are the novel knowledge components incorporated in organizational knowledge actions and their sizes are determined by the extent of their influence on subsequent knowledge actions. I use the variation-selection-retention (VSR) and social mechanisms models to build my approach and I employ the patented knowledge environment as an exemplar. The deconstruction of the knowledge environment into its organization-level knowledge components embedded in organizational knowledge actions could provide scholars, managers, and policy-makers with a simple perspective to view the contribution of each organization to its knowledge environment.
The timely disengagement of a firm from its old technological achievements and the update of its core technological competencies are important issues for both management scholars and practitioners. However, a firm is naturally reluctant to abandon or replace technologies created internally and on which a large amount of resources has been spent and with which the firm is to a large extent familiar. Addressing the temporal dimension of knowledge inputs, this study develops two hypotheses that examine the effect of the recency of internal knowledge inputs on innovation performance and how this effect is moderated by internal focus. We test these hypotheses on longitudinal economic and patent data from a sample of 139 firms from the pharmaceuticals, biotechnology, and chemicals industries for a 7-year period, using fixed-effects negative binomial regression models. Findings support that the recency of internal knowledge inputs is a positive predictor of both innovation productivity and impact; however, when the recency interacts with internal focus, both the effects become negative.
There is a general consensus among scholars that knowledge is probably the most important source of competitive advantage. The influential, novel knowledge incorporated in patented inventions can be considered as a valuable resource for firms. The research questions that are at the heart of this work are how long the effect of influential knowledge on financial performance can last and how this effect interacts with rivals' absorptive capacity. We test our hypotheses on longitudinal data from the chemical industry. Our findings suggest that influential patented knowledge has a negative, though weak, effect on financial performance in the first year after patent application, but the effect becomes strongly positive in the second year, even though it lasts only for one year. Moreover, contrary to our expectations, we find that the effect of influential knowledge on financial performance is positively moderated by rivals’ absorptive capacity.
The diffusion of innovations is identified as an important aspect of technological and social change. Innovations diffuse through segmented networks of knowledge that limit the flow of knowledge from any one technological domain to any other. Despite this segmentation, some organizations are capable of developing pieces of knowledge that overcome these limitations. Within this context, we develop four hypotheses regarding specific R&D strategies that affect a firm’s ability to develop inventions that diffuse beyond the firm’s technological boundaries. Specifically, we examine how a firm's scientific intensity, technological collaborations, technological diversity, and internal focus impact breadth of innovation diffusion. We use two of the main determinants of innovation diffusion, namely, the relative advantage and the observability, as theoretical mechanisms to build our arguments. We empirically test our hypotheses on longitudinal data from the industries of pharmaceuticals, biotechnology, and chemicals. Our findings show that the extent to which the knowledge embedded in a firm’s inventions diffuses in distant technological areas is positively related to the firm’s scientific intensity and to its extent of collaboration, but it is negatively related to its technological diversity.