Managing Knowledge Flows Through Appropriation and Learning Strategies

Melbourne Institute Working Paper No. 6/06

23 Pages Posted: 16 May 2006 Last revised: 10 Apr 2011

See all articles by Paul H. Jensen

Paul H. Jensen

University of Melbourne - Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research

Elizabeth Webster

Swinburne University of Technology; University of Melbourne - Melbourne Institute: Applied Economic & Social Research

Date Written: March 1, 2006

Abstract

In this paper, the management of outgoing and incoming knowledge is modelled as part of the firm's profit-seeking strategy. Firms stem their outflow of commercially-sensitive knowledge through appropriation mechanisms such as patents and secrecy and stimulate inflows of commercially-valuable knowledge through networking, attending conferences and other forms of external interaction. It is probable, however, that some learning styles undermine some appropriation mechanisms. For instance, recent research on the "paradox of openness" highlights the conflict between firms' openness and their ability to appropriate innovation profits. We use survey data from over 600 Australian firms to examine this paradox and other effects of firms' management of knowledge flows such as the complementarity between patents and secrecy and the conflict between patents and interactive forms of learning.

Keywords: Appropriation, learning, patents, secrecy, innovation

JEL Classification: O31

Suggested Citation

Jensen, Paul H. and Webster, Elizabeth M., Managing Knowledge Flows Through Appropriation and Learning Strategies (March 1, 2006). Melbourne Institute Working Paper No. 6/06, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=900757 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.900757

Paul H. Jensen

University of Melbourne - Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research ( email )

Level 5, FBE Building, 111 Barry Street
Parkville, Victoria 3010
Australia

Elizabeth M. Webster (Contact Author)

Swinburne University of Technology ( email )

Cnr Wakefield and William Streets, Hawthorn Victor
3122 Victoria, Victoria 3122
Australia

University of Melbourne - Melbourne Institute: Applied Economic & Social Research ( email )

Level 5, FBE Building, 111 Barry Street
Parkville, Victoria 3010
Australia

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