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Learning remotely: R&D satellites, intra‐firm linkages, and knowledge sourcing

Joel Blit ()

Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, 2017, vol. 26, issue 4, 757-781

Abstract: Firms venture abroad not only to access resources and markets but also to learn. Yet there remains limited empirical evidence that headquarters can access geographically remote knowledge by establishing a presence in the remote location. Using U.S. patent data, I show that firm headquarters disproportionately source knowledge from third parties in remote locations where they have an R&D satellite. This “satellite effect” on knowledge flow is economically significant, representing up to 60% of the knowledge‐flow premium associated with collocation. Furthermore, the effect seems to be stronger for recent knowledge, as well as in areas of satellite technological specialization, suggesting that firms can target cutting‐edge knowledge in specific sectors. In addition, the results show that firms with stronger internal linkages between headquarters and satellites, and those that staff satellites with inventors that previously patented while at other local firms, experience a larger satellite effect on knowledge acquisition.

Date: 2017
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Handle: RePEc:bla:jemstr:v:26:y:2017:i:4:p:757-781