Heterogeneous Combinations of Knowledge Elements:
How the Knowledge Base Structure Impacts Knowledge-related Outcomes of a Firm
Knowledge is the preeminent resource of a firm. Although many scholars have focused on the firm's knowledge base, few studies have examined the effects of the knowledge base structure—how knowledge elements are linked or separated from each other in clusters—on firm's knowledge-related outcomes. This study examines the knowledge base structure, and tests hypotheses about the effects of heterogeneous combinations of knowledge elements on the outcomes. Through an analysis of the patents related to LCD technology, (1) the usefulness of an organization's inventions correlates positively with the density of the knowledge links between technologically different knowledge components, (2) the average usefulness of a firm's inventions correlates positively with the density of the knowledge links between technologically disparate knowledge components, (3) the number of inventions correlates negatively with the density of the knowledge links between excessively disparate knowledge components.
Research Institute for Economics and Business Administration
Rokkodai-cho, Nada-ku, Kobe