Seminar by Prof. Stefano Breschi, Bocconi University


Event details

Date and time 12.12.2019 12:0013:30  
Place and room
Speaker Prof. Stefano Breschi, Bocconi University
Category Conferences - Seminars
"The Differential Impact of Intra-Firm Collaboration and Knowledge Network Centrality on Employees’ Likelihood of Leaving the Firm"

How do employees’ collaboration centrality and knowledge centrality in intra-firm R&D activities affect their propensity for outward mobility? Does this propensity vary by the type of employment the employees seek, meaning, moving to other firms versus founding a new venture? We maintain that to answer these questions we must distinguish between an employee’s betweenness centrality in the intra-firm collaboration network and the betweenness centrality of his/her knowledge in the firm’s knowledge recombination network. We utilize the curricula vitae and patent data of corporate inventors at a leading semiconductor company between 1993 and 2012 to test our hypotheses. Our competing risk model indicates that, contrary to prevailing views, corporate inventors who are central in the intra-firm collaboration network are less likely to move to a new employer but more likely to start a new venture. In addition, it shows that corporate inventors whose knowledge is central in the firm’s knowledge recombination network, meaning those who have and can recombine knowledge that others depend upon, making their departure potentially more disruptive, are less likely to leave. Our theory highlights the tradeoff between employees’ attempts to appropriate value through outward mobility and their opportunity costs, and demonstrates that the priority depends on the direction of the mobility.