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TECHNICAL KNOWLEDGE-SEEKING IN A YOUNG AND GROWING TECHNOLOGY-BASED FIRM: INCENTIVES AND DIRECTION

RÖGNVALDUR J. SAEMUNDSSON

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The purpose of the paper is to investigate technical knowledge-seeking activities in young and growing technology-based firms. Changes in technical knowledge-seeking activities were traced using a single illustrative case study of a young and growing technology-based firm. The results of the study show how strong commitment to the business concept of the emerging firm affected the direction of technical knowledge-seeking in a way that increases the vulnerability of the firm. New employees who were not as familiar with or committed to the original business concept brought with them different incentives for knowledge-seeking, which lead to search in new directions. These knowledge-seeking activities were important for the renewal of the firm's knowledge base. It is therefore suggested that differences in individual incentives may affect the direction of technical knowledge-seeking activities, and correspondingly, that multiple incentives are an important source of diversity in technical knowledge creation.