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Journal Articles Journal of Evolutionary Economics Year : 2021

Knowledge integration between technical change and strategy making


This paper looks at the different strategies that two of the tire industry’s most prominent players, Pirelli and Michelin, deployed to exploit a radical process innovation: robotized, modular manufacturing. This paper argues that Pirelli, originally the technological follower, could develop a more nuanced, complex and ultimately successful strategy thanks to its superior knowledge integration capabilities. Empirically, we examine the structural characteristics and evolution of inventors’ networks in the two companies to reveal their knowledge integration capabilities. We apply the cohesive blocking method developed by White and Harary (Sociol Methodol 31(1):305–359, 2001) to argue that Pirelli, while relying on comparable skills in terms of technical fields, leveraged a more connected, cohesive and structured skills than Michelin. On this basis, it could develop and deploy a more complex strategy that better fit the characteristics of the new process technology. Pirelli’s knowledge network structure enhanced its knowledge integration capabilities and allowed for a more efficient fit between technology and strategy.
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halshs-03325035 , version 1 (04-05-2024)




Stefano Brusoni, Lorenzo Cassi, Simge Tuna. Knowledge integration between technical change and strategy making. Journal of Evolutionary Economics, 2021, 31, pp.1521-1552. ⟨10.1007/s00191-020-00706-3⟩. ⟨halshs-03325035⟩
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