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Founders’ human capital and external knowledge sourcing: An absorptive capacity perspective for innovative start-ups

Masatoshi Kato

No 162, Discussion Paper Series from School of Economics, Kwansei Gakuin University

Abstract: This study explores the role of founders’ human capital in determining the external knowledge sourcing (licensing-in and joint R&D) of a firm during the start-up period using panel data drawn from original questionnaire surveys conducted in Japan. The results of a probit model with an endogenous regressor show that firms managed by founders with a high level of specific human capital, measured as prior work experience in a related field or as technological experience, tend to engage in external knowledge sourcing because of their absorptive capacity. The findings indicate that this type of human capital also promotes R&D investment. Contrariwise, this study finds that firms managed by founders with a high level of general human capital, measured as educational attainment, tend to invest more in R&D as an absorptive capacity-building activity, which may promote external knowledge sourcing. The implications of these findings are discussed from the perspective of economic policy.

Keywords: Start-up; Founder; General human capital; Specific human capital; R&D investment; External knowledge sourcing. (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: L26 M13 O32 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Pages: 40 pages
Date: 2017-06, Revised 2017-06
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-cse, nep-ent, nep-ino, nep-knm, nep-sbm and nep-tid
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http://192.218.163.163/RePEc/pdf/kgdp162.pdf First version, 2017 (application/pdf)

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Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:kgu:wpaper:162

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