(), Martin Andersson
() and Torben Schubert
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.
28 pages, May 2, 2013
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