Knowledge and Communication

Knowledge Diversity and Coordination: The Effect of Intrafirm Inventor Task Networks on Absorption Speed

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We combine the absorptive capacity and social network theory approaches to predict how intrafirm "whole" network characteristics affect the firm's rate of absorption of external knowledge to produce inventions. We start from the widely accepted view that distant, externally-developed knowledge is difficult to absorb into the focal firm's own knowledge production. We suggest that high levels of intrafirm inventor task network diversity and task network density are essential for a diversity of knowledge inputs and coordinated actions regarding knowledge transfer which in turn, reduces problems related to the absorption of knowledge-especially in the case of knowledge that is distant from the focal firm. The results of an event history study of 113 pharmaceutical firms that engaged in technology in-licensing from 1986-2003 provide general support for our hypotheses.
Bibliographic citation: Moreira, Solon; Markus, Arjan; Laursen, Keld, "Knowledge Diversity and Coordination: The Effect of Intrafirm Inventor Task Networks on Absorption Speed", Strategic Management Journal, 2018, (Online)

Reference: 10.1002/smj.2914 (DOI)
Date: 18/05/2018
Author(s): Moreira, Solon; Markus, Arjan; Laursen, Keld
Document type: Article in Journal (refereed)
Editor(s): EIC - Centro de Iniciativa Emprendedora e Innovación
Languages: English