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Knowledge base combinations and firm growth

Grillitsch, Markus LU ; Schubert, Torben LU and Srholec, Martin LU (2019) In Research Policy 48(1). p.234-247
Abstract

The link between knowledge and firm growth has been a core topic in economics of innovation for a long time. However, despite strong theoretical arguments, empirical evidence remains inconclusive. One important reason for this conundrum may be the failure of standard indicators to capture firm innovation activities comprehensively. We contribute to overcoming this limitation by looking in the knowledge processes that drive variegated forms of innovation and aim thereby to establish a solid relationship with firm growth in more detail. Our arguments draw on the differentiated knowledge base approach, distinguishing between analytical, synthetic, and symbolic knowledge. We measure the three types of knowledge bases with detailed... (More)

The link between knowledge and firm growth has been a core topic in economics of innovation for a long time. However, despite strong theoretical arguments, empirical evidence remains inconclusive. One important reason for this conundrum may be the failure of standard indicators to capture firm innovation activities comprehensively. We contribute to overcoming this limitation by looking in the knowledge processes that drive variegated forms of innovation and aim thereby to establish a solid relationship with firm growth in more detail. Our arguments draw on the differentiated knowledge base approach, distinguishing between analytical, synthetic, and symbolic knowledge. We measure the three types of knowledge bases with detailed longitudinal linked-employer-employee micro-data from Sweden. Econometric findings based on a very large sample of small and medium-sized firms indicate significantly positive effects of the three knowledge types, and in particular combinations thereof, on firm growth. In addition, we show that not only high-growth but also slow-growth firms benefit immensely from the use of combinatory knowledge bases. We find evidence on a curvilinear relation between knowledge bases and growth of firms. Beyond certain thresholds increasing the knowledge bases further results in decreasing firm growth. Our results remain robust in a wide range of specifications and econometric models.

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author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
keywords
Firm growth, Innovation, Knowledge, Micro data, Sweden
in
Research Policy
volume
48
issue
1
pages
234 - 247
publisher
Elsevier
external identifiers
  • scopus:85052820967
ISSN
0048-7333
DOI
10.1016/j.respol.2018.08.009
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
f5f264d4-1de0-477e-bddf-89fc253cc683
date added to LUP
2018-10-05 08:01:03
date last changed
2019-01-16 12:07:52
@article{f5f264d4-1de0-477e-bddf-89fc253cc683,
  abstract     = {<p>The link between knowledge and firm growth has been a core topic in economics of innovation for a long time. However, despite strong theoretical arguments, empirical evidence remains inconclusive. One important reason for this conundrum may be the failure of standard indicators to capture firm innovation activities comprehensively. We contribute to overcoming this limitation by looking in the knowledge processes that drive variegated forms of innovation and aim thereby to establish a solid relationship with firm growth in more detail. Our arguments draw on the differentiated knowledge base approach, distinguishing between analytical, synthetic, and symbolic knowledge. We measure the three types of knowledge bases with detailed longitudinal linked-employer-employee micro-data from Sweden. Econometric findings based on a very large sample of small and medium-sized firms indicate significantly positive effects of the three knowledge types, and in particular combinations thereof, on firm growth. In addition, we show that not only high-growth but also slow-growth firms benefit immensely from the use of combinatory knowledge bases. We find evidence on a curvilinear relation between knowledge bases and growth of firms. Beyond certain thresholds increasing the knowledge bases further results in decreasing firm growth. Our results remain robust in a wide range of specifications and econometric models.</p>},
  author       = {Grillitsch, Markus and Schubert, Torben and Srholec, Martin},
  issn         = {0048-7333},
  keyword      = {Firm growth,Innovation,Knowledge,Micro data,Sweden},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {1},
  pages        = {234--247},
  publisher    = {Elsevier},
  series       = {Research Policy},
  title        = {Knowledge base combinations and firm growth},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.respol.2018.08.009},
  volume       = {48},
  year         = {2019},
}