Session Details: Session 1057

Knowledge as a Driver of Innovation, Learning and Competence-Building

Track A

Date: Wednesday, October 15, 2008


Time: 10:00 – 11:15

Common Ground

Room: Salon 6

Bertrand Quelin, HEC-Paris

Title: Acquiring Commercialization Expertise through Alliances versus Resource Accumulation: Evidence from Biotechnology


  • Simon Wakeman, ESMT European School of Management & Technology

Abstract: A start-up technology firm can acquire the knowledge necessary to commercialize future innovations in either of two ways: (1) train or recruit personnel with the appropriate skills (“resource accumulation”) or (2) enter a commercialization alliance with an established firm, but retain the rights to participate in the commercialization process (“inter-organizational learning”). This paper examines the relative effectiveness of these two means of knowledge acquisition by examining the performance of 101 biotech firms who were or had been marketing pharmaceutical products by the end of 2006. This paper contributes to the existing literature by extending the study of learning through alliances to vertical relationships and to commercial knowledge.

Title: Climate Change: How Knowledge Makes a Firm Different


  • Johanna Jaskari, Aalto University

Abstract: In the near future, climate change will make demands on firms. Worldwide, environmental and energy regulations impose taxes on greenhouse gas emissions, thus reconfiguring most firms’ business processes. Climate change refers both to how our natural world is changing and how firms become different in dissimilar situations prevailing at particular times and places. In this theoretical article, I explore how knowledge makes firms different. Paradoxically, those few categories that characterize climate change in stable operations (material and energy use), reconfigure whole industries in dynamic contexts, as the costs associated with greenhouse gas emissions (caused by material and energy use) become related to firms’ other processes. Climate change opens unique research settings: future environmental end-states are given, whereas business processes, markets, and technologies will be reconfigured.

Title: Communities of Practice in High Tech Companies: The Effects of Diversity and Communication Media


  • Alessandro Narduzzo, Free University Bozen-Bolzano
  • Cristina M Longo, University of Catania

Abstract: The aim of this paper is to analyze when and how communities of practice lead to the success of technological innovation projects in high tech companies. Specifically, we try to establish the role of diversity and communication media on the projects performance. We believe the effectiveness of communities may rely on how they are made up, the extent to which participants are familiar with each other and the way to which they share common and specialized knowledge. On the ground of an longitudinal study applied to the Italian high-tech firms and research centres, we reconstruct significant evidence of community interactions. Implications concern how to build competitive advantages by making use of communities of practice task-related knowledge and their way of interacting.

Title: Customers' Knowledge in Promoting Demand for Bioenergy Technologies


  • Marko Seppänen, Tampere University of Technology
  • Aija Tapaninen, Tampere University of Technology

Abstract: Climate change and the continuous need for alternative energy sources like biofuels have highlighted the potential for the technological alternative of innovative domestic household pellet heating systems for single-family houses. The diffusion and adoption of pellet heating systems has been studied earlier but only scant attention has been given to customer knowledge in influencing adoption decisions. The purpose of this paper is to empirically investigate customer knowledge of the heating systems, especially wood pellet heating systems. The paper considers knowledge of this bio-fuel technology and the impact of the perceived knowledge of the innovation on its adoption. The results indicate that customer knowledge is, at least partially, relevant in creating demand; this is also consistent with the existing theoretical models. The managerial implications of the results and avenues for future research are also discussed.

Title: Learning Capabilities: Do They Provide Common Platform for Organisational Excellence?


  • Ravi Nayak, University of Ballarat

Abstract: Identifying three kinds of organizational learning capabilities in line with triple bottom line principles such as i) corporate environmental responsibility, ii) corporate social responsibility, and iii) corporate financial responsibility, this study examines the findings of the ANOVA analysis with business sector as the independent variable. It finds that the Australian resource sector is in the forefront in learning capabilities in corporate environmental responsibility and corporate financial responsibility. In the light of this finding and drawing from earlier empirical studies, it explores a theoretical question whether learning capabilities are transferable rather than bound to specific areas. It dwells into a proposal that a capable learning organization can achieve continuous innovation and improvements in several functional areas by deploying its strength in learning capabilities.

Title: Socialize the Innovation in Your Business Model Through Social Capital Creation


  • Joan E Ricart, IESE Business School
  • David Pastoriza, HEC-Montreal

Abstract: The idea of a socialized form of innovation is consistent with the fact that innovation rates increase with the greater base of users employing and contributing to that innovation. This process of knowledge creation provides an alternative way of developing the innovative capacity that structures are intended to create. However, socialized innovation cannot be easily explained under existing economic theories that dominate the business model literature. This paper argues that social capital theory helps to develop intellectual capital and increases the value embedded in the business model of a firm. Extending the literature of business models with social capital theory will help advance this field of research, precisely in those virtuous circles that current economic theories are not able to fully explain.

All Sessions in Track A...

Mon: 11:15 – 12:30
Session 1036: Knowledge and Learning
Mon: 15:30 – 16:45
Session 1041: Knowledge, Collaboration, and Performance
Session 1061: Inter-Organizational Knowledge Transfer
Mon: 17:00 – 18:15
Session 1040: Knowledge Transfer and Diffusion
Session 1042: Capabilities, Value Creation, and Performance
Tue: 11:15 – 12:30
Session 1035: Strategic Dynamics in Industry Architectures: The Challenges of Knowledge Integration
Session 1055: Governing Knowledge in Interorganizational Relationships
Tue: 14:30 – 15:45
Session 1039: Knowledge and Governance
Session 1045: Capabilities and Governance
Session 1056: Discussing Approaches on How Knowledge Matters in Organizations
Wed: 10:00 – 11:15
Session 1038: Knowledge and Networks
Session 1057: Knowledge as a Driver of Innovation, Learning and Competence-Building
Wed: 11:30 – 12:45
Session 1044: Technology and Performance
Session 1046: Knowledge Across Boundaries
Session 1058: Knowledge Strategies: Collaboration and Governance

Strategic Management Society

Cologne Conference