Scandinavian Working Papers in Economics

Working Paper Series in Economics and Institutions of Innovation,
Royal Institute of Technology, CESIS - Centre of Excellence for Science and Innovation Studies

No 449: The impact of open innovation on employee mobility and entrepreneurship

Markus Simeth () and Ali Mohammadi ()
Additional contact information
Markus Simeth: Universidad Carlos III de Madrid (UC3M), Postal: Department of Business Administration, 28903 Getafe, Spain
Ali Mohammadi: Royal Institute of Technology (KTH), Centre of Excellence for Science and Innovation Studies (CESIS) & Swedish House of finance

Abstract: Prior research shows that firms can increase their innovation performance by leveraging external sources of knowledge. However, insights related to potential drawbacks of open collaborative approaches for innovation remain scarce. In this paper, we investigate the relationship between R&D collaboration and the departure of skilled employees. Highly qualified scientists and engineers who interact with external partners in the context of R&D collaborations may increase their outside options, resulting in higher rates of employee mobility to other firms and employee entrepreneurship. We analyze our research question using data from the Swedish edition of the Community Innovation (CIS) survey combined with employer-employee register data. Our econometric analysis suggests that a stronger use of research collaborations by firms leads to an increasing number of employee departures. Moreover, we detect heterogeneity for this relationship with respect to the types of employee exits and different collaboration partners.

Keywords: R&D employees; Open Innovation; R&D Collaboration; Employee mobility; Employee Entrepreneurship

JEL-codes: J62; O32

34 pages, March 1, 2017

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