Personnel involved in high-tech R&D commonly move between enterprises, bringing with them technology obtained elsewhere. This leads to an imperceptible circulation of analogous technology among different companies. Unfortunately, this so-called technological spillover is difficult to detect. This study combined social network analysis with patent data covering nearly 30 years to construct the networks that involve the mobility of inventors and technological overlap in the Hsinchu semiconductor industry. Regression analysis using quadratic assignment procedures reveals that the network within which inventors migrate has a positive impact on the network technological overlap. Further analysis clarified the positive relationship between the mobility of inventors and technological overlap in terms of the organizational network characteristics. This confirms a process of co-evolution between technological overlap and the mobility of inventors, which may have a highly likely spillover.
Key words: Technological spillover, transferred inventor, social network analysis, technological overlap.
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