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Knowledge flows, changing firms’ competences and patent citations: an analysis of the trajectory of IBM

Jorge Nogueira de Paiva Britto, Leonardo Costa Ribeiro, Lucas Teixeira Araújo, Giulia Tonon da Matta Machado and Eduardo Albuquerque ()

Economics of Innovation and New Technology, 2019, vol. 28, issue 4, 317-347

Abstract: This paper investigates knowledge flows that a leading firm might deal to transform its core competencies, through a case study about IBM. The transformation of IBM from a hardware company to a knowledge service provider is strongly dependent upon different knowledge sources and areas, different capabilities fed by different science and engineering fields. Our theoretical framework presents how the literature on innovation has been enriched by elaborations on dynamic capabilities of firms, on the role of knowledge and knowledge flows as a source of those capabilities and on patent citations as statistical tool to capture those knowledge flows. This paper integrates those three different approaches using patent citations statistics to measure knowledge flows behind IBM’s changing capabilities. Our contribution to this literature is an articulation of a historical summary of the evolution of IBM with an empirical analysis of those changes through patent citations statistics.

Date: 2019
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DOI: 10.1080/10438599.2018.1496602

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