This paper deals with the question of how upgrading of the symbolic and synthetic knowledge bases takes place and, by doing so, we contribute to the upgrading literature by linking upgrading with the concept of the differentiated knowledge bases. We discern a number of upgrading mechanisms, and based on empirical evidence from the construction industry and the automotive industry in China, we show that the main upgrading mechanisms for symbolic knowledge include “learning-by-interacting in project teams” and “monitoring”, while upgrading of synthetic knowledge takes place via “technology transfer” and “learning-by-doing and-using”. “Mobility” and “on-the-job training and learning in Transnational Corporations” are the main upgrading mechanisms contributing to the development of both knowledge bases.

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Industry and Innovation
Erasmus School of Economics

van Tuijl, E., Dittrich, K., & van der Borg, J. (2016). Upgrading of Symbolic and Synthetic Knowledge Bases: Evidence from the Chinese Automotive and Construction Industries. Industry and Innovation, 23(3), 276–293. doi:10.1080/13662716.2015.1129316