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Article
Publication date: 1 June 2001

Laura B. Cardinal, Todd M. Alessandri and Scott F. Turner

Industry descriptions often depict science‐driven industries as a single industry class, dominated by explicit knowledge in the form of patents, blueprints, diagrams, etc…

Abstract

Industry descriptions often depict science‐driven industries as a single industry class, dominated by explicit knowledge in the form of patents, blueprints, diagrams, etc. This one‐dimensional view limits our ability to effectively manage the activities and routines across various stages of a science life cycle. The life cycle concept refers to the extent of development of the underlying scientific knowledge base. The knowledge in developed science fields (e.g. chemicals) is well codified, whereas in developing fields (e.g. biotechnology), it is less so. This variance creates interesting implications for innovation – product development routines will differ across developed and developing sciences. The purpose of this paper is to compare and contrast the knowledge‐ and resource‐based requirements of developed and developing science industries and the link to competitive advantage.

Details

Journal of Knowledge Management, vol. 5 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1367-3270

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Article
Publication date: 2 October 2009

Maarten van Gils, Geert Vissers and Jan de Wit

This paper aims to explore the relationship between the types of R&D‐activities within science‐based firms and the knowledge transfer channels used for industry‐science…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to explore the relationship between the types of R&D‐activities within science‐based firms and the knowledge transfer channels used for industry‐science collaboration. Rooted in a contingency approach, it seeks to identify patterns in the organization of knowledge transfer and to disclose ways that may support R&D‐managers in achieving effective knowledge transfer.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper is an exploratory study in order to obtain a deep understanding of the relationship. At first, both the types of R&D‐activity and the knowledge transfer channels were conceptualized based on an extensive literature review. Second, data were collected by means of semi‐structured interviews with 17 (assistant) R&D‐managers of ten large European chemical firms.

Findings

The analysis suggests that almost each of the knowledge transfer channels used for industry‐science collaboration has a more or less unique link to a specific type of R&D‐activity. An empirically based model is developed that visualizes the linkages. In addition, explanations for observed links are proposed.

Research limitations/implications

The empirical analysis reported focuses on multinational firms in the science‐based European chemical industry, because they invest heavily in R&D and are hence more interested in collaboration with scientific partners. Further research is needed to determine the model's applicability in other empirical settings, both within and outside science‐based industries.

Practical implications

The paper provides R&D‐managers with a model that may support them in deciding how to organize their collaboration with scientific partners based on the type of their internal R&D‐activity to achieve effective knowledge transfer.

Originality/value

The paper is one of the first studies that empirically assesses the relationship between the types of R&D‐activities in firms and the knowledge transfer channels that are used for industry‐science collaboration.

Details

European Journal of Innovation Management, vol. 12 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1460-1060

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Article
Publication date: 1 May 2001

Abstract

Details

Education + Training, vol. 43 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0040-0912

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Article
Publication date: 4 February 2014

Steven Pattinson and David Preece

Recent research into communities of practice (CoPs) has focused on large organizations, suggesting they can be constructed for the purposes of knowledge acquisition and

Abstract

Purpose

Recent research into communities of practice (CoPs) has focused on large organizations, suggesting they can be constructed for the purposes of knowledge acquisition and innovation. The present study found that, for science-based SMEs, CoPs are more likely to emerge unplanned to support incremental innovation in the form of problem-solving activities. This paper aims to discuss these points.

Design/methodology/approach

Deploying a social constructionist research methodology, thematic template analysis was used to analyze 25 in-depth interviews conducted with a range of employees in six science-based SMEs.

Findings

Both intra and inter-organizational CoPs were leveraged for a variety of purposes, including knowledge acquisition and the enhancement of the organizations' ability to generate innovative solutions.

Research limitations/implications

Whilst there is no claim for the representativeness of the sample in relation to the wider population of science-based firms, the paper offers new material and theorizing in a domain which has been dominated to date by a focus upon large organizations and a managerialist orientation.

Practical implications

A contextualized framework for the construction of CoPs in science-based SMEs has been developed from the findings of this study.

Originality/value

The role of CoPs in science-based SMEs and the factors that influence their success or failure have been neglected to date, and thus have received little attention in the literature. Yet CoPs, as we found, can contribute to knowledge acquisition and innovation.

Details

Journal of Knowledge Management, vol. 18 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1367-3270

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Article
Publication date: 8 August 2016

Margarida Fontes and Cristina Sousa

The purpose of this paper is to address the strategies adopted by science-based start-ups to gain access to knowledge resources at diverse spatial levels. It investigates…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to address the strategies adopted by science-based start-ups to gain access to knowledge resources at diverse spatial levels. It investigates the presence and relative importance of ties endowed with different types of proximity in firms’ knowledge networks, and the role played by non-geographical proximity in gaining access to knowledge sources, both nearby and distant.

Design/methodology/approach

An analytical framework is proposed that distinguishes between two dimensions of proximity – geographical and relational – leading to different forms of proximity, which are further linked with modes of knowledge interaction (formal or informal). A methodology for network reconstruction is developed and applied to Portuguese molecular biology firms, permitting to identify the origin, location and nature of the ties and to position them along forms of proximity.

Findings

The results show that the incidence and mix of the different forms of proximity vary in firms’ individual networks, being possible to identify several patterns. They also uncover the relevance of relational proximity, whether or not coexisting with geographical proximity and often compensating for its absence.

Research limitations/implications

This approach needs to be complemented with further research that refines the operationalization of relational proximity, by attempting to disentangle the influence of different types of non-geographical proximity. Further research will also explore in greater detail the factors that may explain variety in the proximity mix of firms’ networks.

Practical implications

The paper offers insights into the knowledge sourcing strategies adopted by science-based firms located outside the main concentrations of knowledge in their field.

Originality/value

The paper contributes to the literature on the role of proximity in knowledge access, by developing and empirically testing a taxonomy of forms of proximity, considering the characteristics of science-based firms. It uncovers the mechanisms through which relational proximity can contribute to span spatial boundaries, highlighting the role played by entrepreneurs’ personal networks.

Details

European Journal of Innovation Management, vol. 19 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1460-1060

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Article
Publication date: 4 April 2016

Jin Chen, Hao Jiao and Xiaoting Zhao

Based on the knowledge-based view (KBV), the purpose of this study is to explore the impact of scientific knowledge resources on innovative performance, as well as the…

Abstract

Purpose

Based on the knowledge-based view (KBV), the purpose of this study is to explore the impact of scientific knowledge resources on innovative performance, as well as the mechanisms, in the science-based innovation practice of biotechnological industry. How scientific knowledge influences the firms’ innovative performance and how external scientific knowledge flows into the firms efficiently are important issues every high-tech firms must consider.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors chose biopharmaceutical firms in China as the sample of this study to empirically test the hypotheses.

Findings

The study introduces a framework combining scientific knowledge resources, technological capabilities and innovative performance and, then, follows with an empirical investigation on firms in Chinese biotechnological industry. Survey data from biopharmaceutical firms in China prove the significantly positive impact of both stocks and flows of scientific knowledge on firms’ innovative performance, as well as the significant mediation effect, of technological capability.

Practical implications

From the results of this study, the authors derive the important managerial implications that talent exchange, purchasing external knowledge directly and establishing R&D alliances are three effective ways leading external scientific knowledge to flow into the firms.

Originality/value

The study finds that technological capability plays an intermediary role between scientific knowledge resource and innovative performance; tacit scientific knowledge stock and R&D alliance influence innovative performance through technological capability totally among them.

Details

Chinese Management Studies, vol. 10 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1750-614X

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Book part
Publication date: 14 December 2004

Nicola Lacetera, Iain M. Cockburn and Rebecca Henderson

Do firms build new capabilities by hiring new people? We explore this question in the context of the pharmaceutical industry’s movement towards science-driven drug…

Abstract

Do firms build new capabilities by hiring new people? We explore this question in the context of the pharmaceutical industry’s movement towards science-driven drug discovery. We focus particularly on the potential problem of endogeneity in interpreting correlation between hiring and changes in organizational outcomes as evidence of the impact of new hires on the firm, and on the more fundamental conceptual question of the conditions under which hiring might be a source of competitive advantage, given the well known objection that resources that are freely available through the market cannot be a source of differential capabilities. Using data on the movement and publication of “star” scientists, we find that the adoption of science based drug discovery within the firm is closely correlated with the hiring of star scientists. This correlation appears to be reasonably robust to a number of controls for endogeneity. We also show that the hiring of highly talented scientists appears to have a significant impact on the behavior of scientists already working within the firm. We interpret this as consistent with the idea that hiring may change organizational capabilities through the interaction of new talent with the policies, routines and people already in place within the firm.

Details

Business Strategy over the Industry Lifecycle
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-0-76231-135-4

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Article
Publication date: 1 April 2014

A.A. (Alex) Alblas and J.C. (Hans) Wortmann

Success in manufacturing industries often depends on the ability of a firm to apply product platforms. In speeding up product development, platforms often enable companies…

Abstract

Purpose

Success in manufacturing industries often depends on the ability of a firm to apply product platforms. In speeding up product development, platforms often enable companies to benefit from scale effects by reusing existing components in the development of new products. In the delivery of complex products and system (CoPS), however, platforms are frequently modified since components have to be changed within their life cycle to meet additional customer-specific engineering demands and evolving innovations in technology. In this article, it will be illustrated that intangible design elements can be used as platforms in firms that deliver CoPS. The paper aims to discuss these issues.

Design/methodology/approach

Through extensive fieldwork at a leading supplier of science-based lithography machinery, a modified platform concept was developed and tested that is labelled as the function-technology (FT) platform. The longitudinal data, collected on site, demonstrate positive effects of applying FT platforms.

Findings

The results show that an important explanation for firm's success in delivering lithography machinery with attractive performance is their ability to deliver variants that are specific in terms of physical modules, but common in terms of functions and technologies. Based on the results, it can be argued that establishing an FT platform will allow the efficient creation of variants within a family of CoPS.

Originality/value

The findings add considerable insight to the existing literature on operations management by explaining how intangible design elements, instigated during development, can be reused in the delivery of CoPS. Moreover, it enables development managers to more easily structure and reuse complex development tasks.

Details

International Journal of Operations & Production Management, vol. 34 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-3577

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Book part
Publication date: 1 December 2004

Kenneth W. Koput and Walter W. Powell

In this chapter, we make the argument that science-based firms in the life sciences are expected to actively expand the volume and scope of collaborations, and broaden the…

Abstract

In this chapter, we make the argument that science-based firms in the life sciences are expected to actively expand the volume and scope of collaborations, and broaden the kinds of partners with whom they collaborate, as they grow larger, older, and become successful. We base our arguments on a general process of organizational learning in which organizations with diverse ties are exposed to a broader stock of knowledge, heterogeneity in the portfolio of collaborators facilitates innovation, and repeat contracting enables organizations to deepen their protocols for the exchange of information and resources. We draw from these ideas the conclusion that interfirm collaboration is not a transitional stage, or stepping stone, to success or maturity, but a significant organizational practice in technologically advanced fields. Extending this argument, we suggest this strategy of interfirm collaboration represents neither dependency nor specialization but an alternative way of accessing knowledge and resources.

Details

Complex Collaboration: Building the Capabilities for Working Across Boundaries
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-84950-288-7

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Article
Publication date: 4 April 2016

Chung-Lin Tsai and Han-Chao Chang

The purpose of this paper is to collate relevant literature on the theoretical background of regional innovation systems and factors that impact the operational…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to collate relevant literature on the theoretical background of regional innovation systems and factors that impact the operational effectiveness of regional innovation systems.

Design/methodology/approach

The collated information is then used to determine the opinions of experts from industries within science-based parks, and the scholars on the researches of regional innovation systems in Taiwan. The analytic hierarchy process (AHP) is used to evaluate the critical factors of regional innovation systems.

Findings

This study finds that industry cluster effects constitute the most significant operating factor for regional innovation systems within the Taiwanese science-based parks. In addition, this study not only confirms that partners or parent firm location which were advocated by Tödtling et al. are also critical to Taiwanese regional innovation systems, but also verifies how well the relationships to partners or parent firm are equally important for expansion the regional innovation systems.

Research limitations/implications

The concepts of regional innovation system have been established since 1990, and related articles have been published from European and Asian scholars, however, seldom does literature offer questionnaires or research items to measure the operational effectiveness of a regional innovation system. Therefore this study has developed a questionnaire, by reviewing literature and verifying it by the AHP method, with Taiwan’s HsinChu Science Park as the subject case. For the contribution on theories, this study inducted the construction of new innovation environments, new interactional behavior in regional organization innovation, and injection of new resources into regional innovation as the three main constructs to influence the operational effectiveness of regional innovation systems. In addition, this study has used experts’ questionnaire answers and the AHP method to clarify the priority of factors to operate the regional innovation system.

Practical implications

Industry cluster effect, construction of knowledge infrastructure and how close partners or parent firm are (distance and relationship) are the top three factors in HsinChu Science Park. The duties of the government are not merely picking good firms for the regional innovation system, but also making policies and defining regimes, providing a good business environment for campus firms, universities, and research institutions, as well as offering plenty of R & D funding to encourage industry-academia cooperation. Governments must invest in infrastructures, such as: establishing databases, libraries, information networks, the national technical standards for certification, and other public services, to facilitate industry-academia cooperation.

Social implications

These research results indicate the operating essentials of regional innovation systems are not limited to interactions among regional organizations. This study suggests that the success or failure of a new regional innovation system would instead, be dependent on the regional environment, as in software planning and support, as well as the relationship of innovation with policy implementation and administration.

Originality/value

Results showed that the top-five factors influencing the operational effectiveness of regional innovation systems are the industry cluster effect, the construction of knowledge infrastructure, how close to partner’s or parent’s firm (distance and relationship), import of foreign capital and technology, and the implementation of regional innovation policy.

Details

Kybernetes, vol. 45 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0368-492X

Keywords

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