Relatedness through experience: on the importance of collected worker experiences for plant performance
(English)Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
The present article aims to show that multiple cognitive dimensions exist between employees in plants and that these multiple forms of potential cognitive relatedness interact in their influence on learning and plant performance. In light of the learning economy, the role of non-physical forms of proximity in promoting knowledge and innovativeness for firms has caught the interest of economic geographers. In the article, the knowledge and cognitive distance between employees in knowledge-intensive business services (KIBS) is measured in multiple ways – as formal knowledge, industry experience and past knowledge exposure. The different forms of cognitive distance are entered into pooled OLS regressions with year-, industry-, region-fixed effects and interaction terms to estimate the effects of various forms of cognition on plant performance. The results show that the effects of past knowledge exposure are considerably stronger than the effects of formal education. Within the KIBS sector, it is more important to have access to a workforce characterized by considerable related past knowledge interactions than to have a workforce characterized by related academic degrees. Moreover, we conclude that the commonly found negative impact of similarity in formal education on plant performance may be reduced by high levels of similarity in past knowledge exposure. The same applies to high human capital ratios, which mitigate the negative impact of high levels of similarity in formal education.
Research subject Social and Economic Geography
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-100917OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-100917DiVA: diva2:794874