Essays on the micro-foundations of the knowledge-based view:
human capital, knowledge networks and innovation strategy
Essays on the micro-foundations of the knowledge-based view: human capital, knowledge networks and innovation strategy
Rothaermel, Frank T.
I look at knowledge networks emerging through individual collaboration within incumbent firms and I make an effort to identify individual roles that are driving a number of meaningful firm-level innovation-related outcomes. I document how certain individuals occupy such positions in their firms' knowledge network that equip them with unique blends of human and social capital, thus making them consequential for the innovative performance of the system as a whole. Integrators are the actors with an extraordinarily large and dense network of different collaborators. Connectors are the individuals who collaborate with others across diverse knowledge areas and clusters. Isolates are actors who are productive while remaining relatively unconnected and independent. I find that relational stars (i.e. integrators and connectors) positively affect their organization's quantity and quality of inventive output. On the other hand, I find that it is isolates and star inventors who positively affect inventive productivity. I find that individuals with extreme patterns of collaborative behavior (either local or distant) facilitate exploration and that productive isolates drive exploitation. In addition, I find that organizational ambidexterity can be attained by having individuals who can simultaneously explore and exploit or by increasing the connectedness between exploratory and exploitative activities. Finally, I find that knowledge boundary choices are also affected by internal organization and human resource attributes.