Category: Workshop / Conference

Mobility of Researchers

Under the headline of Two Sides of Brain-Circulation the role of researcher intersectoral and international mobility is discussed today in a conference organized by the EC and by the Austrian BMWFW.

The literature has shown that labor mobility is a determinant of firm performance (Boschma, Eriksson, & Lindgren, 2009; Balsvik 2012) and of innovation in particular (Herstad, Sandven, & Ebersberger, 2015). Additionally the a recent study commissioned by the EC has highlighted that there is considerable room for increasing researchers’ mobility:

  • 14 % – 18 % of EU HEI researchers of have been internationally mobile during their PhD
  • 30 % of EU HEI researchers were mobile (> 3 months) in the last 10 years after PhD
  • 31 % of EU HEI researchers have NEVER been internationally mobile post PhD
  • 23 % of EU researchers currently outside of EU consider returning to EU
  • 72 % of non-EU researchers formerly in EU would have liked to stay
  • 77 % of EU HEI researchers collaborate internationally
    • more with academic partners than with industry
    • collaboration happens more frequently in later career stages
    • previous mobility and collaboration correlate
  • Virtual collaboration technology is important for international collaboration / partially substitutes travel
  • 30 % of EU HEI researchers have been inter-sectorally mobile
    • 12 % industry
    • 7 % private / non-profit
    • 15 % government

The literature also highlights that mobility might not be so bad for the countries or the firms the mobility originates from. Considerable spillovers back to the origin are to be expected (Agrawal, Cockburn, & McHale, 2006; Oettl & Agrawal, 2008). The transmission mechanism is the social ties developed on a workplace that last longer than the contractual arrangements.

Gone but not forgotten. 



Agrawal, A., Cockburn, I. & McHale, J. (2006). Gone but not forgotten: knowledge flows, labor mobility, and enduring social relationships. Journal of Economic Geography, 6 (5), 571–591. doi:10.1093/jeg/lbl016.

Balsvik, R. (2011). Is labor mobility a chanell for spillovers from multinationals? Evidence from norwegian manufacturing. Review of Economics and Statistics, 93 (1), 285–297.

Boschma, R., Eriksson, R. & Lindgren, U. (2009. How does labour mobility affect the performance of plants? The importance of relatedness and geographical proximity. Journal of Economic Geography, 9 (2), 169–190. doi:10.1093/jeg/lbn041.

Boschma, R.A. (2005). Proximity and Innovation: A Critical Assessment. Regional Studies, 39 (1), 61–74. doi:10.1080/0034340052000320887.

Herstad, S.J., Sandven, T. & Ebersberger, B. (2015). Recruitment, knowledge integration and modes of innovation. Research Policy, forthc. doi:10.1016/j.respol.2014.06.007.

Oettl, A. & Agrawal, A. (2008). International labor mobility and knowledge flow externalities. Journal of International Business Studies, 39 (8), 1242–1260. doi:10.1057/palgrave.jibs.8400358.

Foundations of Economic Change – Behavior, Interaction and Aggregate Outcome

Currently I am attending the 15th conference of the International Joseph Alois Schumpeter Society.

It is a marvelous event with a line up of speakers that is really breath-taking for all of the participants. Brian Arthur, David Audretsch, Giulio Bottazzi, Guido Buenstorf, Wesley Cohen, Herbert Dawid, Giovanni Dosi, Magda Fontana, Dominique Foray, Koen Frenken, DAniella Laureiro-Martinez, Mariana Mazzucato, John S. Metcalfe, Pierre Mohnen, Richard Nelson, Carlota Perez, Mario Pianta, Ulrich Witt, and of course the host Uwe Cantner.

I am presenting Sverre’s and my paper “KIS, Urban Location & Innovation”. Also I co-authored a poster with Christina Koller about the effect the experience of patent attorneys has on the quality of patents.




Recruitment, knowledge integration and modes of innovation

Today I give a presentation at the Public Policy and Global Affairs Programme Seminar at Nanyang Technological University, Singapore. I present a joint paper with Sverre Herstad and Tore Sandven titled “Recruitment, knowledge integration and modes of innovation”.

Commodity trade, innovation collaboration and labor mobility are considered the primary channels through which knowledge diffuse between firms, industries and economies. As the commitment of firms to global production and innovation networks grows, it is becoming increasingly important to understand how the more localized knowledge spillovers, which are attributable to mobility flows, influence the innovativeness of firms and the growth of economies. This paper investigates how the intrinsic characteristics of firms’ knowledge bases and processing routines have evolved with the past inflow of employees. The empirical analysis is based on linked public register and innovation survey data for Norway. It finds recruitment from universities, research institutes and higher education institutions to have increased the capacity of the firm to generate technical inventions. Yet, the organizational knowledge bases and processing routines on which commercial innovation output depends have been found to be strengthened only by the recruitment that has occurred from related industries. Implications for research, management and policy are drawn.

The slides of the presentation are here:

PRME Conference in Innsbruck

The preparations for the upcoming PRME Conference hosted by the MCI in Innsbruck of Friday this week are coming to an end. This conference will lead to the signatory act for the foundation of the PRME Chapter in the DACH region. On Twitter refer to the DACH-Chapter with #prmedach.

There is a high level line up of speakers, who will contribute their ideas, insights and their experience in the context of responsible management education. The program for the conference, for the signatory act and for the subsequent workshop can be found here.

It has turned out that  together with my colleague Daniela Ortiz I have the honor to chair and the pleasure to moderate the main morning and the early afternoon sessions of the conference. The presentation will touch the broad field of responsible management andresponsible management education in particular. The coverage ranges from corruption to social entrepreneurship and from social innovation to humanistic management. It will be really thrilling to see the heated debate that we will certainly have.

CERGE-EI Workshop in Prague

Currently I am participating in a highly interesting and inspiring workshop in Prague “Innovation, institutions and geography: What can we learn from microdata?” organized by CERG-EI.

The format of the workshop is great. For each presentation the organizer Martin Srholec has set aside a time slot of an hour. This allows for extensive presentations and discussions. Excellent.

Multilevel approaches and the firm-agglomeration ambiguity in economic growth studies
Frank G. van Oort, Martijn J. Burger, Joris Knoben and Otto Raspe
Discussant: Martin Srholec

Does the local milieu matter for innovation? Multilevel evidence from the Czech Republic
Martin Srholec and Pavla Žížalová
Discussant: Martijn Burger

Understanding multilevel interactions in economic development
Micheline Goedhuys and Martin Srholec
Discussant: Mark Knell

Academic inventors in Italy: Patterns of collaboration with industry
Riccardo Crescenzi, Andrea Filippetti and Simona Iammarino
Discussant: Robert van der Have

Mapping the geography of R&D: What can we learn for regional innovation policy in the Czech Republic and beyond?
Martin Srholec and Pavla Žížalová
Discussant: Jan.Stejskal

Innovation of KIBS and firm-location
Bernd Ebersberger and Sverre Herstad
Discussant: Pavla Žížalová

Devil of a time: How technological radicalness matters for the effects of search strategies on innovations’ time to market
Pankaj C. Patel and Robert van der Have
Discussant: Bernd Ebersberger

The risks of innovation: Are innovating firms less likely to die?
Ana Margarida Fernandes and Caroline Paunov
Discussant: Andrea Filippetti

Surviving the times of crisis: Does innovation make a difference?
Oleg Sidorkin and Martin Srholec
Discussant: Caroline Paunov

Novelty of innovation: Who, where and how much in Europe?
Mark Knell and Martin Srholec
Discussant: Micheline Goedhuys

Entrepreneurs as innovators: A multi-country study on entrepreneurs’ innovative behaviour
Martin Lukeš
Discussant: Johannes Stephan



Business Ethics, Innovation, & Creating Shared Value

On Monday this week I have organized a tiny workshop at the Management Center Innsbruck to discuss “Business ethics, innovation & creating shared value”.

In my opening comments “Ethics, innovation & creating shared values” I introduced the topic with strong reference to Fontrodona (2013) arguing that there is a strong relationship between ethics and innovation leading to Porter and Kramer’s (2011) concept of creating shared value. CSV, Porter and Kramer argue, is distinctively different from conventional CSR activities.

George Bragues with his contribution “What would Adam Smith say about contemporary business ethics?” shed light onto the question whether Adam Smith would consider CSR as a task that managers should care about. In short, and as such not unexpectedly, Adam Smith would not consider CSR a relevant task for managers. Yet, Adam Smith, in his moral reasoning would argue that what managers should do is not detached from their environment and is not completely dictated by self-interest. He sees managers as part of their individual network that will finally determine the ethics of management. For more about George’s talk see here.

Michael Redinger investigated whether and how distinct the academic discussion around Creating Shared Value is from the current concepts of corporate social responsibility. In his talk “Creating Shared Value – A paradigm in its infancy?” he used social network analysis on a large citation network. He found that currently Creating Shared Value has not yet developed a distinct body of literature that allows us to differentiate it from CSR. The analysis showed that the CSR literature shows clusters that are comparable to the four groups developed in Garriga and Mele (2004), yet with some tiny nuances.

Roman Haas in his presentation “Creating Shared Value implementation – A cross sectional analysis” introduced us to his measurement of Creating Shared Value activities of the 100 most innovative companies in the German speaking DACH region. His conclusion – although somewhat preliminary in nature – is that an astonishingly high fraction of companies already score pretty well on his CSV-score. This also indicates that CSV cannot be so radical a concept otherwise this could not be explained.

In her presentation “Which ethics for the capitalist system? The proposal of the German neoliberal Wilhelm Röpke” Daniela Ortiz discussed the life, the thought and the legacy of Wilhelm Röpke to the audience. For the audience it was interesting to see the ethical foundations of the German post WW2 economic system, which Wilhelm Röpke has significantly contributed to.

In his brief statement Johannes Dickel covered the PRME initiative and the foundation of a German speaking chapter in Austria, Germany and Switzerland. PRME is currently and will continue to be an important actor to integrate responsible management practices into business education.

Markus Frischhut finally analyzed the ethical implications of moving for health cross border in his presentation titled “Moving for health – Not only legal, but also ethical implications”. Aside from the legal and ethical implications Markus analyzed the different dimensions of cross border mobility for health and the related issues.


Fontrodona, J. (2013). The relation between ethics and innovation. In T. Osburg & R. Schmidpeter (Eds.), Social innovation: solutions for a sustainable future (pp. 23–34). Heidelberg: Springer.

Garriga, E., & Melé, D. (2004). Corporate Social Responsibility Theories: Mapping the Territory. Journal of Business Ethics, 53(1/2), 51–71.

Porter, M. E., & Kramer, M. R. (2011). Creating shared value. Harvard Business Review, (January-February).

Image: modified from|Author%20=Markus%20Henkel%20(|Date%20=2013-05-08%20|Permission%20=%20|other_ver… (CC)

Brisbane Club Meeting in Vienna

I am currently attending the Vienna meeting of the honorable Brisbane Club. The Brisbane Club is an informal series of meetings of scholars of neo-Schumpeterian and evolutionary economics.

The meeting is organized by Kurt Dopfer. The line-up of scholars to give presentations at this three day meeting is amazing and promises interesting discussions:

J. Stanley Metcalfe,  “Restless Capitalism and the theory of economic evolution”

John Foster, “Energy, knowledge and economic growth”

Ulrich Witt, with Georg Schwesinger, “Phylogenetic footprints in organizational behavior”

Horst Hanusch and Andreas Pyka, “Social Innovations”

Jean-Robert Tyran, “Emergence of institutions: Self-organisation for collective action”

Georg D. Blind, ”Investigating entrepreneurial spirit with the rule approach: Why self employment is on the decline in Japan”

Jason Potts, “Institutions of innovation policy”

Kurt Dopfer, “The evolution of markets: A rule-based approach”

Honorary Guest: HH. Hans-Adam II Prince of Liechtenstein, on “The State in the Third Millennium”

Pier Paolo Saviotti and Andreas Pyka, “From necessities to imaginary worlds: Structural change, product quality and economic development”

Cristiano Antonelli and Gigi Ferraris, “Innovation as an emerging system property: An agent based model”

Esben Sloth Andersen, “Analysing multidimensional selection and evolution”

Jerry Silverberg, “Percolation models”

Caroline Gerschlager, “Change Agents”

Robert Delorme, “A behavioral post-Simonian and post-Keynesian model”

Michael Peneder and Andreas Resch, ”Schumpeter and venture financing”

Stefan Thurner, “Systemic risk in financial networks: Quantification and control”

Francisco Louçã, “Complex structures and regime changes in financial markets: How Fama and DSGE go wrong”

Uwe Cantner and  Simone Vanuccini, “Reflections on an evolutionary approach to General Purpose Technology”

Karolina Safarzynska, “Rebound effect in manufacturing industries: producer and consumer interactions”

Bernd Ebersberger and Sverre Herstad, Tore Sandven, “Recruitment and industrial innovation”

Manuel Wäckerle, “Generic Institutionalism”

The workshop was held in the Stadtpalais of Liechtenstein in the heart of Vienna,  hosted by HH. Hans-Adam II Prince of Liechtenstein


[The image shows the Stadtpalais of Liechtenstein in Vienna]

International and national collaboration for innovation – Does the composition of the regional knowledge base matter?

Together with Christina Koller I have recently finalized the draft for a research note about international and national collaboration for innovation. The paper titled “International and national collaboration for innovation – Does the composition of the regional knowledge base matter?” will be presented at the research conference of the Austrian Universities of Applied Sciences.

In the paper we argue that according to the resource-based view what firms do is to combine and to re-combine existing and new knowledge. This is particularly important for their innovation activities. Recently the region as the locus of innovation activity has attracted more attention. In particular considerable focus is put on national and international collaborative involvement of regional innovation activity as collaboration spans regional boundaries to access complementary resources. In this research we focus our attention on the characteristics of the regional knowledge base that affect innovation collaboration.

Using comprehensive EPO patent application data from 1978 to 2009,we analyze the driving factors for all European regions. We find that domestic collaboration across regional boundaries is driven by a lack of innovation potential and by a lack of technological strength. International collaborations are determined by a lack of technological strength as well, but are positively influenced by regional innovation potential.


Research and science enquete in Tyrol

Today representatives of all academic institutions in the Austrian state of Tyrol convened for an extended set of presentations on the research, science and technology in Tyrol. The presentations were supplemented with a poster hall,where my colleagues Florian Becke, Christine Pirhofer and I had the honor to contribute our most recent poster about the “Technological competitiveness of Austrian regions“.

Innovating knowledge transfer

This year’s PRO INNO Europe Partnering Event (April 5 – April 7) in Munich focussed on a broad understanding for knowledge transfer to support broad based innovation. It also emphasized that innovation depends on sources which go far beyond internal research and development of companies. My presentation with the title “How much innovation bases on outside technology, knowledge and creativity?” highlighted the (preliminary) findings of the INNOGrips WP 3 about the effects of and the determinants for firms’ utilization of open innovation practices among European SMEs.