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Contribution Details

Type Journal Article
Scope Discipline-based scholarship
Title Experience matters: The role of academic scientist mobility for industrial innovation
Organization Unit
Authors
  • Ulrich Kaiser
  • Hans C. Kongsted
  • Keld Laursen
  • Ann-Kathrine Ejsing
Item Subtype Original Work
Refereed Yes
Status Published in final form
Language
  • English
Journal Title Strategic Management Journal
Geographical Reach international
Volume 39
Number 7
Page Range 1935 - 1958
Date 2019
Abstract Text Research Summary: A learning-by-hiring approach is used to scrutinize scientists' mobility in relation to the recruiting firms' subsequent innovation output. Our starting point is that among firm hires, individuals with university research experience—hired from universities or firms—can be particularly valuable. However, conflicting institutional logics between academia and industry makes working with academic scientists challenging at times for firms. We suggest two solutions to this difficulty: hiring “ambidextrous” individuals with a mix of experience of university research and working for a technologically advanced firm, and a strong organizational research culture in the recruiting firm reflected by the presence of a scientist on the top management team. We track the mobility of R\&D workers empirically using patent and linked employer-employee data. Managerial Summary: An important way to make organizations more innovative is hiring individual researchers with the right types of skills and experience. We show that individuals with university research experience beyond their final degree are particularly likely to help boost firm-level innovation output after hiring compared to R\&D workers with other types of skills and experience. However, to obtain good returns to innovation from hiring such individuals, firms need a university research–friendly organizational culture when hiring individuals with university research experience, from either firms or academia.
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