Learning from what others have learned from you : the effects of knowledge spillovers on originating firms

Hongyan YANG, Corey PHELPS, H. Kevin STEENSMA

Research output: Journal PublicationsJournal Article (refereed)

104 Citations (Scopus)


Although research suggests knowledge spillovers often benefit imitators at the expense of originators, we investigate how originating firms may also benefit from their own spillovers. When an originating firm's spillovers are recombined with complementary knowledge by recipient firms, a spillover knowledge pool is formed, containing opportunities for the originator to learn vicariously from recipients. In a longitudinal study of 87 telecommunications manufacturers, we found that a firm's rate of innovation and the extent to which these innovations integrate knowledge from the spillover knowledge pool is greater when this pool is larger in size and similar to the firm's knowledge base.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)371-389
Number of pages19
JournalThe Academy of Management Journal
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2010
Externally publishedYes



  • Business Planning
  • Competitive Advantage
  • Knowledge Management
  • Kodak Camera
  • Learning
  • Organizational Behavior
  • Telecommunication

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