Exploring-by-Hiring: High-Skilled Migration as a Source of Exploration?


Event details

Date and time 07.12.2020 17:00  
Place and room
Speaker Wolf-Hendrik Uhlbach (Copenhagen Business School)
Category Conferences - Seminars
Wolf-Hendrik Uhlbach (Copenhagen Business School)
"Exploring-by-Hiring: High-Skilled Migration as a Source of Exploration?"
Discussant: Dang Wang (Columbia Business School)

This paper examines how firms’ recruitment of high-skilled foreign R&D workers affects firm-level exploration. We argue that by hiring foreign R&D workers, firms are more likely to gain access to novel and complementary knowledge, which will foster exploration. Examining a sample of 376 Danish R&D active firms over the period from 2001 to 2013, we show the effect is most pronounced when foreign R&D hires originate from geographical backgrounds that are represented to a lesser extent within firms’ incumbent R&D workforce. Moreover, we show that this effect holds, even when the cognitive distance between these new hires and firms’ incumbent R&D workforce is low. Finally, we highlight the temporary nature of this “exploration premium” as these results only hold for newly hired foreign workers.

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