The role of codified sources of knowledge in innovation: Empirical evidence from Dutch manufacturing

Research paper by Stefano Brusoni, Orietta Marsili, Ammon Salter

Indexed on: 01 Apr '05Published on: 01 Apr '05Published in: Journal of Evolutionary Economics


This paper explores ongoing debates about the role that codified forms of knowledge play in fostering innovative behaviour. It aims to provide an empirical exploration of the use of codified sources of information for innovation at the firm and sectoral level. Despite considerable interest in David and Foray’s (1995) work on the codification of knowledge and the changing nature of innovation due to the use of information and communication technologies, there are relatively few empirical studies that probe the role of codified sources of information in the innovation process. Our goal is to assess how important codified sources of information are for innovation among different firms and sectors. We find that use of codified sources of knowledge is highly concentrated in high technology sectors and among firms with existing absorptive capacity. The analysis shows that the use of other sources of information for innovation is a strong predictor of a firm’s use of codified sources. The data used for the analysis is based on The Netherlands Community Innovation Survey (II) for the manufacturing sector and covers over 2001 firms in 11 industries.