Post Exit Knowledge Diffusion in the Aftermath of the Danish Shipyards: And the Lack of it

Jacob Rubæk Holm, Christian Richter Østergaard, Thomas Roslyng Olesen

    Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperResearch


    A growing literature sees labour mobility as a source of knowledge diffusion that benefits the receiving company. However, labour mobility is not necessaril
    y a source of positive knowledge transfer, but also leads to destruction of knowledge. This paper explores what happens to the employees from failing
    companies and how their skills are being redeployed. It is based on four different cases of firm exit from the shipbuilding industry. The analysis is based on detailed micro data that allow us to follow the mobility of all the laid-off employees. The exit processes are quite diverse and so are the future employment careers of the redundant workers. The closure of each shipyard is described in detail and regression analysis is applied to each case in order to uncover factors that may lead to re-employment. We find that the workers end
    up in various industries partly depending on the regional industrial environment. The highly educated workers are more successful, but most shipbuilders end up in a job with a significantly lower relative wage
    indicating that the employer does not value the specific skills very high. Additional education is only occasionally a success and it depends on the regional environment. Collaboration by the owners of the shipyard and local government to facilitate spin-offs, on the other hand, tends to be an effective way of ensuring that the workers made redundant by the shipyard’s closure find new jobs.
    Original languageEnglish
    Publication date2012
    Number of pages23
    Publication statusPublished - 2012

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