Learning from What Others Have Learned from You: The Effects of Knowledge Spillovers on Originating Firms

Academy of Management Journal, Forthcoming

42 Pages Posted: 21 Jul 2009 Last revised: 12 Jun 2014

See all articles by Hongyan Yang

Hongyan Yang

Hong Kong Polytechnic University

Corey C. Phelps

McGill University

Kevin Steensma

University of Washington

Date Written: July 18, 2009

Abstract

Although research suggests knowledge spillovers benefit imitators often at the expense of originators, we investigate how originating firms may also benefit from their own spillovers. When an originating firm’s spillovers are recombined with complementary knowledge by recipient firms, a pool of external knowledge is formed that is inherently related to the originating firm’s knowledge base. This spillover knowledge pool contains valuable opportunities for the originator to learn vicariously from recipients’ recombinatorial activities. In a longitudinal study of 87 telecommunications equipment manufacturers, we find that a firm’s rate of innovation and the extent to which these innovations build on and integrate knowledge from the spillover knowledge pool is greater when its spillover knowledge pool is larger in size and similar to the firm’s existing knowledge base.

Keywords: Technology innovation, knowledge spillovers, organizational learning

Suggested Citation

Yang, Hongyan and Phelps, Corey C. and Steensma, Kevin, Learning from What Others Have Learned from You: The Effects of Knowledge Spillovers on Originating Firms (July 18, 2009). Academy of Management Journal, Forthcoming, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1435724

Hongyan Yang (Contact Author)

Hong Kong Polytechnic University ( email )

Hung Hom, Kowloon
Hong Kong
+852 2766 4021 (Phone)
+852 2765 0611 (Fax)

Corey C. Phelps

McGill University ( email )

1001 Sherbrooke St. W
Montreal, Quebec H3A 1G5
Canada

Kevin Steensma

University of Washington ( email )

Seattle, WA 98195
United States

Here is the Coronavirus
related research on SSRN

Paper statistics

Downloads
215
Abstract Views
1,455
rank
153,902
PlumX Metrics