Scandinavian Working Papers in Economics

Papers in Innovation Studies,
Lund University, CIRCLE - Center for Innovation, Research and Competences in the Learning Economy

No 2013/3: Implementing an R&D Strategy without Prior R&D-Experience Recruitment as a Source of R&D-related Routines and Capabilities?

Lina Ahlin (), Martin Andersson () and Torben Schubert ()
Additional contact information
Lina Ahlin: CIRCLE, Lund University, Postal: CIRCLE, Lund University, PO Box 117, SE-22100 Lund, Sweden
Martin Andersson: CIRCLE, Lund University, Postal: CIRCLE, Lund University, PO Box 117, SE-22100 Lund, Sweden
Torben Schubert: CIRCLE, Lund University and Fraunhofer Institute for Systems and Innovation Research (ISI), Postal: CIRCLE, Lund University, PO Box 117, SE-22100 Lund, Sweden

Abstract: Evolutionary economic theorizing and related approaches explain persistent heterogeneity in R&D activities between firms with persistent inter-firm differences in R&D-related routines and capabilities. Emphasizing the importance experiential learning leading to pathdependence of R&D strategies, this raises the question of how firms can organize strategy transitions towards continuous R&D, in particular, if they had not been R&D active before. Building on a growing literature trying to identify the micro-foundations of organizational routines and capabilities, we argue that recruitment of experienced R&D workers is an important means by which firms without prior internal R&D experience can build routines and capabilities needed to implement and sustain an R&D strategy shift. We test our predictions using rich matched employer-employee panel data for Sweden, which allows for the identification of firms that implement a strategy of continuous R&D activities without prior R&D experience. Our findings confirm recruitment of experienced R&D workers as an important mechanism by which firms prepare and sustain a transition towards persistent R&D.

Keywords: routines; capabilities; R&D strategy; micro-foundations; recruitment

JEL-codes: D22; J24; J63; O31; O32

28 pages, May 2, 2013

Full text files

201303_Ahlin_et_al.pdf PDF-file 

Download statistics

Questions (including download problems) about the papers in this series should be directed to Torben Schubert ()
Report other problems with accessing this service to Sune Karlsson ().

This page generated on 2018-01-23 23:35:08.