Abstract: Knowledge Circulation and Appropriation Activities of Unilever: The Case of Becel

Mila Davids


This paper explores the importance of the circulation of knowledge and appropriation activities for innovations in the Dutch multinational Unilever. Before the twentieth century the adaptation and subsequent diffusion of foreign innovations typified most industrial sectors in the Netherlands. This situation changed during the twentieth century when several companies such as Philips and Unilever started their own research laboratories. Cooperation among universities, industrial companies, and the government grew, and new professional societies of engineers and scientists became important platforms for knowledge exchange.