Advertisement

Specialisation and Integration

Combining Patents and Publications Data to Map the ‘Structure’ of Specialised Knowledge
  • Stefano Brusoni
  • Aldo Geuna

Abstract

This chapter analyses and extends existing studies of how to characterise, trace, and measure knowledge bases of firms, sectors, and countries. The chapter is structured in two main parts. First, we present the concepts of knowledge specialisation and knowledge integration as the relevant dimensions along which knowledge bases can be mapped. The concepts proposed build upon extensive qualitative research which has focused on a variety of processes of knowledge generation and use in a range of industrial sectors and organisations. The aim of this chapter is to demonstrate that these, largely qualitative, processes map into key characteristics of the knowledge bases they contributed to generating and shaping; and that these key characteristics can be measured relying on the innovative use of patents, citations and publications data. More specifically, the analysis of the evolution of knowledge specialisation over time provides information about the persistence of knowledge in firms and sectors. It hints at the cumulative, path dependent nature of learning processes. Integration is studied by analysing the evolution of specialisation across different typologies of research. It hints at the complex, non-linear inter-dependence that link the scientific and technological domains. The second part of the chapter will be devoted to the presentation of indicators of breadth and depth that capture the key characteristics of the concepts introduced in the first part.

Keywords

Knowledge Base Scientific Field Science Citation Index Scientific Specialisation Knowledge Integration 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. Pharmaceuticals Groups. What do patent citations to non-patent literature reveal? Forthcoming in Economics of Innovation and New Technology.Google Scholar
  2. Brusoni, S., Geuna, A. (2003). An international comparison of sectoral knowledge bases: persistence and integration in the pharmaceutical industry. Research Policy, 32, 1897–1912.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Cantwell, J.A. (1989). Technological innovation and multinational corporations. Oxford: Basil Blackwell Ltd.Google Scholar
  4. Conant, J.B., Nash, L.K. (1964). Harvard case histories in experimental science, vol. 1. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
  5. Dalum, B., Laursen, K., Villumsen, G. (1998). Structural change in OECD export specialisation patterns: De-specialisation and “Stickiness”. International Review of Applied Economics, 12, 447–67.Google Scholar
  6. Fai, F. (2003). Corporate technological competence and the evolution of technological diversification. Cheltenham: Edward Elgar.Google Scholar
  7. Godin, B. (1994). The relationship between science and technology, Unpublished DPhil Thesis, SPRU, University of Sussex, Brighton.Google Scholar
  8. Granstrand, O., Patel, P., Pavitt, K. (1997). Multi-technology corporations: why they have “distributed” rather than “distinctive core” competence, California Management Review, 39, 8–25.Google Scholar
  9. Henderson, R.M. (1994). The evolution of integrative capability: innovation in cardiovascular drug discovery. Industrial and Corporate Change, 3, 607–630.Google Scholar
  10. Henderson, R.M., Cockburn, I. (1996). Scale, scope and spillovers: the determinants of research productivity in drug discovery. Rand Journal of Economics, 27, 32–59.Google Scholar
  11. Iansiti, M., Clark, K. (1993). Integration and dynamic capability: evidence from product development in automobiles and mainframe computers. Industrial and Corporate Change, 3, 557–605.Google Scholar
  12. Lawrence, P.R., Lorsch, J.W. (1967). Organization and environment: managing differentiation and integration. Homewood, IL: Irwin, 1967.Google Scholar
  13. Loasby B. J. (1999). Knowledge, institutions and evolution in economics. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  14. March, J., Simon, H. (1958). Organizations. New York: Wiley.Google Scholar
  15. Meliciani, V. (2001). Technology, trade and growth in OECD countries. Does specialisation matter? London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  16. Nelson R.R., Winter, S. (1982). An evolutionary theory of economic change. Cambridge: The Belknap Press, Cambridge.Google Scholar
  17. Nesta, L. (2001). The coherence of knowledge bases and technical change. Evidence from biotechnology firms between 1981 and 1997, unpublished PhD thesis, University Pierre Mendes-France, Grenoble (in French).Google Scholar
  18. Nesta L., Dibiagio, L. (2004). Knowledge organisation and firms’ specialisation in the biotech industry. Forthcoming on Industry and Innovation.Google Scholar
  19. Nesta L., Saviotti, P. (2003). Intangible assets and market value: Evidence from biotechnology firms. Paper presented at EMAEE 2003, University of Augsburg (D), April 10–12.Google Scholar
  20. Pavitt, K. (1989). International patterns of technological accumulation. In N. Hood and J.E. Vahlne (Eds.), Strategies in Global Competition. London: Croom Helm.Google Scholar
  21. Pavitt, K. (1998). Technologies, products and organization in the innovating firm: what Adam Smith tells us that Schumpeter doesn’t. Industrial and Corporate Change, 7, 433–452.Google Scholar
  22. Perrow, C. (1967). A framework for the comparative analysis of organizations. American Sociological Review, 32, 194–208.Google Scholar
  23. Pisano, G.P. (1997). The development factory: unlocking the potential of process innovation. Boston MA: Harvard Business School Press.Google Scholar
  24. Powell W., Owen-Smith J., Pammolli F., Riccaboni, M. (2002). A comparison of U.S. and European University-Industry relations in the Life Sciences. Management Science, 48, 24–43.Google Scholar
  25. De Solla Price, D.J. (1963). Little Science, Big Science. New York: Columbia University Press.Google Scholar
  26. Prencipe, A. (1997). Technological competencies and products evolutionary dynamics: A case study from the aero engine industry. Research Policy, 25, 1261–1276.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Prencipe, A. (2000). Breadth and depth of technological capabilities in CoPS: The case of the aircraft engine control system. Research Policy, 29, 895–911.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Soete, L.L.G. (1987). The impact of technological innovation on international trade patterns: The evidence reconsidered. Research Policy, 16, 101–130.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Rumelt, R.P. (1974). Strategy, Structure, and Economic Performance. Boston: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
  30. Teece D.J., Rumelt, R.P., Winter, S., Dosi, G. (1994). Understanding corporate coherence: theory and evidence. Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization, 23, 1–30.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Wang, Q., von Tunzelmann, G.N. (2000). Complexity and the functions of the firm: breadth and depth. Research Policy, 29, 805–818.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  • Stefano Brusoni
    • 1
    • 2
  • Aldo Geuna
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.SPRU, The Freeman CentreUniversity of SussexBrightonUK
  2. 2.CESPRI and CRORABocconi UniversityMilanoItaly

Personalised recommendations