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Frank Knight, uncertainty and knowledge spillover entrepreneurship

Audretsch, D. B. and Belitski, M. (2021) Frank Knight, uncertainty and knowledge spillover entrepreneurship. Journal of Institutional Economics. ISSN 1744-1374

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1017/S1744137421000527


In his seminal 1921 book, Risk, Uncertainty, and Profit, Frank Knight distinguished uncertainty and risk. This paper applies Knight’s concept of uncertainty to knowledge generated in incumbent organizations to explain the inherent difficulty in assessing potential innovations along with the key role played by knowledge spillover entrepreneurship as a conduit for transforming new knowledge created by an incumbent organization but ultimately commercialized through the creation of a new firm and innovation. Knowledge is inherently uncertain and constitutes what is characterized as the knowledge filter impeding innovative activity in the context of incumbent firms and organizations. The organizational and institutional context and market uncertainty can either facilitate or impede the spillover of knowledge from the firm where it was created to the entrepreneurial startup where it is transformed into innovation. The empirical evidence based on a large, unbalanced panel of 9,126 UK firms constructed from six consecutive waves of a community innovation survey and annual business registry survey during 2002-2014. Implications for managers, scholars and policymakers are provided.

Item Type:Article
Divisions:Henley Business School > Leadership, Organisations and Behaviour
ID Code:98923
Publisher:Cambridge University Press


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