Knowledge Fit and Productivity Gains from Employee Mobility

Gaétan de Rassenfosse, Karin Hoisl

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperResearchpeer-review


Previous research has established that employee mobility can lead to individual gains in productivity. However, the mechanisms underlying these productivity gains remain the subject of speculation. Using survey data on 869 inventors from 21 countries listed in European patent applications, we show that ‘knowledge fit’ (the extent to which employees’ knowledge is applicable to their new jobs) is positively related to productivity gains from mobility. We further show that the reason for moving (willing or unwilling move) is not directly related to productivity gains. Finally, we find that the relationship between knowledge fit and productivity gains is contingent on the nature of the technology. It is more pronounced in environments involving more tacit knowledge.
Original languageEnglish
Publication date2018
Number of pages49
Publication statusPublished - 2018
EventINSEAD Workshop on Innovator Mobility - INSEAD, Fontainebleau, France
Duration: 29 Apr 201830 Apr 2018


WorkshopINSEAD Workshop on Innovator Mobility


  • Employee mobility
  • Knowledge fit
  • Match effect
  • Productivity

Cite this