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Publication Title | Digital Nomad Lifestyle

Working Remote While Traveling - Digital Nomad Information Series

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Digital Nomad Lifestyle Julia Haking
Subsequently, a knowledge society emphasizes that the advantages for individuals are to enhance skills and knowledge to qualify for better paying jobs, efficiently manage their own businesses and explore novel markets for goods and services (Kramer et al., 2007). Lundvall (2017) stresses that there is higher productivity when individuals engage in daily learning processes and incremental innovation. Likewise, the continuous application of knowledge and digital technologies support the potential for global productivity and reduce diffusion obstacles, such as lack of competence (ibid). Notably, education enhances the absorptive capacity of knowledge because innovations are indirect carriers of the most recent knowledge and, therefore, should be properly introduced. As a result, a regions innovativeness depends on the absorptive capacity (Melnikas, 2010; Perret, 2013), while favorable circumstances add to the ability to generate synergetic effects and foster innovation (Melnikas, 2010). Economic growth in advanced economies depends on shared knowledge and collective intelligence as the three traditional pillars of scale economics5; labor, land and capital are limited when knowledge is abundant (Parker, 2009; Audretsch & Thurik, 2000; Formica, 2013). This has raised the question about knowledge spillovers as an indicator of continuous ongoing growth. Knowledge and ideas are transferred and reflect the public good, which does not decrease in quantity when its used, or limit the user to specific knowledge when it is used by a third user (Perret, 2013). This suggests that knowledge spillovers can add to other agents’ innovative efforts and advance knowledge creation (Parker, 2009).
A digital nomad must acquire the knowledge and skills to perform knowledge work and may benefit from knowledge spillovers through enhanced professional development. Knowledge creation is most prominent in universities or R&D by private inventors and enterprises (Perret, 2013). This type of knowledge is associated with codified knowledge, which is easily documented, transferred and reproduced via publications in scientific journals and can be globally diffused with digital access (Parker, 2009; Perret, 2013). Revenue that is invested in new products and processes as well as government support that is attributed to R&D and education6 are indirect indicators of increased codified knowledge. Likewise, patents are codified knowledge that heavily rely on legislation because weak patent laws can decrease codified knowledge. Another limitation to codified knowledge is that it does not reflect the actual qualifications, or human capital (Perret, 2013).
In contrast to codified knowledge, tacit knowledge cannot be documented as it is bound to the human carrier, as individual knowledge and skills are usually context-specific. Tacit knowledge spillovers or the transfer of tacit knowledge results from face-to-face interactions and regularly repeated contacts. Because the cost of transmitting tacit knowledge increases with distance, it is often concentrated locally (Parker, 2009; Perret, 2013). Both codified and tacit knowledge can be acquired through licenses, foreign or interregional direct investments, trade, and imitation and via labor mobility through digital nomads. While codified knowledge spillovers are more prone to global diffusion, tacit knowledge is a crucial element of innovation. Geographic proximity is fundamental for increasing awareness and access to unique tacit knowledge. Although technology allows for transfers in tacit knowledge, labor mobility increases global tacit knowledge spillovers via collaboration and other interactive activities (Perret, 2013). This study examines tacit knowledge spillovers in Bali’s digital nomad community to answer the third research question: How does Bali’s digital nomad community support professional development?
5 Large-scale productions decrease unit costs and contribute to mass production, and, thus, economic growth 6 Codified knowledge outputs are measured as the number of graduates and level of qualifications
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