On November 11, 2019, 15.45-16.45, in Aula 2 PM (Pad. Morselli), Prof. Matthias Müller (Universität Hohenheim) will give a talk on “How is R&D collaboration affected by the structure of technological knowledge? Insights on knowledge discovery from an agent-based simulation approach” with Muhamed Kudic and Ben Vermeulen.
This paper studies the impact of the structure of technological knowledge on the collaborative knowledge discovery process. We employ a complex adaptive systems perspective and develop an agent-based model in which firm agents seek to discover new knowledge by combining readily discovered knowledge. Firms may hereby collaborate with other firms to get access to a larger variety of knowledge. We experimentally vary the structural properties of the technological knowledge landscape as well as firm characteristics, and study the rate of discovery, propensity to collaborate, and emerging structure of the network of firms. Conceptual interpretations of the simulation results underline, firstly, the significance of collaboration to access technological variety, particularly for specialized firms. Secondly, we find a trade-off for the research scope of firms from an individual and collective perspective, pointing at a systemic imperfection. Finally, our results provide a complementary explanation for the theoretically desirable cognitive distance between economic actors.