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Beyond industry-university links: Sourcing knowledge for innovation from consultants, private research organisations and the public science-base

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  • Tether, Bruce S.
  • Tajar, Abdelouahid

Abstract

This paper explores the use of specialist knowledge providers as sources of information in the innovation activities of manufacturing and service firms. Specialist knowledge providers are consultancies, private research organisations and the public science-base (i.e., universities and the government research laboratories). These may be engaged by firms in co-operative arrangement for innovation or as informal sources of information. We find, as anticipated, that amongst other factors specialist knowledge providers are more likely to be engaged by firms with more open approaches to innovation, those with high levels of absorptive capacity, those with greater social capital and networking capabilities, as well as by those with deeper commitments to innovation. Overall, the use of specialist knowledge providers tends to complement firms' own internal innovation activities and to complement other external sources of knowledge. Moreover, the individual types of specialist knowledge providers tend to complement rather than substitute for one another. Beyond this we find significant differences in the types of specialist knowledge providers used by manufacturing and service firms. Although service firms are more likely than manufacturers to use specialist knowledge providers, they are more likely to engage consultants, whilst their links with research-based organisations, including the public science-base, are weaker. We ask whether there is a case for increasing the extent to which the public science-base undertakes activities that are relevant to innovation in the services.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Research Policy.

Volume (Year): 37 (2008)
Issue (Month): 6-7 (July)
Pages: 1079-1095

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Handle: RePEc:eee:respol:v:37:y:2008:i:6-7:p:1079-1095

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Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/respol

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References

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  1. Lorenzo Cappellari & Stephen P. Jenkins, 2006. "Calculation of multivariate normal probabilities by simulation, with applications to maximum simulated likelihood estimation," Stata Journal, StataCorp LP, vol. 6(2), pages 156-189, June.
  2. Rod Coombs & Mark Harvey & Bruce S. Tether, 2003. "Analysing distributed processes of provision and innovation," Industrial and Corporate Change, Oxford University Press, vol. 12(6), pages 1125-1155, December.
  3. Stephen P. Borgatti & Rob Cross, 2003. "A Relational View of Information Seeking and Learning in Social Networks," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 49(4), pages 432-445, April.
  4. Howells, Jeremy, 2006. "Intermediation and the role of intermediaries in innovation," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 35(5), pages 715-728, June.
  5. Galia, Fabrice & Legros, Diego, 2004. "Complementarities between obstacles to innovation: evidence from France," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 33(8), pages 1185-1199, October.
  6. Bruce Tether, 2005. "Do Services Innovate (Differently)? Insights from the European Innobarometer Survey," Industry and Innovation, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 12(2), pages 153-184.
  7. Laursen, Keld & Salter, Ammon, 2004. "Searching high and low: what types of firms use universities as a source of innovation?," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 33(8), pages 1201-1215, October.
  8. Lorenzo Cappellari & Stephen P. Jenkins, 2003. "Multivariate probit regression using simulated maximum likelihood," United Kingdom Stata Users' Group Meetings 2003 10, Stata Users Group.
  9. Paul A. David, 1999. "The Political Economy of Public Science," Working Papers 99022, Stanford University, Department of Economics.
  10. Tether, Bruce S., 2002. "Who co-operates for innovation, and why: An empirical analysis," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 31(6), pages 947-967, August.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Gosens, Jorrit & Lu, Yonglong, 2013. "From lagging to leading? Technological innovation systems in emerging economies and the case of Chinese wind power," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 60(C), pages 234-250.
  2. Qian Cher Li & Andrea Mina & Bruce S. Tether & Karl Wennberg, 2011. "Diversification and Human Capital as Antecedents of Internationalization amongst Professional Service Firms: A Study of UK Based Engineering Consultants," DRUID Working Papers 11-15, DRUID, Copenhagen Business School, Department of Industrial Economics and Strategy/Aalborg University, Department of Business Studies.
  3. De Marchi, Valentina, 2012. "Environmental innovation and R&D cooperation: Empirical evidence from Spanish manufacturing firms," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 41(3), pages 614-623.
  4. Manuela Gussoni, . "The determinants of inter-¯rms R&D cooperation and partner selection. A literature overview," Discussion Papers 2009/86, Dipartimento di Economia e Management (DEM), University of Pisa, Pisa, Italy.
  5. Gallego, Jorge & Rubalcaba, Luis & Suárez, Cristina, 2013. "Knowledge for innovation in Europe: The role of external knowledge on firms' cooperation strategies," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 66(10), pages 2034-2041.
  6. Marina Doroshenko & Ian Miles & Dmitri Vinogradov, 2013. "Knowledge Intensive Business Services As Generators Of Innovations," HSE Working papers WP BRP 12/STI/2013, National Research University Higher School of Economics.
  7. Criscuolo, Paola & Nicolaou, Nicos & Salter, Ammon, 2012. "The elixir (or burden) of youth? Exploring differences in innovation between start-ups and established firms," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 41(2), pages 319-333.
  8. Cappelli, Riccardo & Czarnitzki, Dirk & Kraft, Kornelius, 2014. "Sources of spillovers for imitation and innovation," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 43(1), pages 115-120.
  9. Ennen, Edgar & Richter, Ansgar, 2009. "The Whole Is More Than the Sum of Its Parts - Or Is It? A Review of the Empirical Literature on Complementarities in Organizations," MPRA Paper 15666, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  10. Carolina Castaldi & Jan Faber & Maikel Kishna, 2010. "Co-innovation by KIBS in Environmental Services: A Resource-based View," Working Papers 10-05, Eindhoven Center for Innovation Studies, revised Mar 2010.
  11. José García-Quevedo & Francisco Mas-Verdú & Daniel Montolio, 2011. "What type of innovative firms acquire knowledge intensive services and from which suppliers?," Working Papers 2011/22, Institut d'Economia de Barcelona (IEB).
  12. De Fuentes, Claudia & Dutrénit, Gabriela, 2012. "Best channels of academia–industry interaction for long-term benefit," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 41(9), pages 1666-1682.
  13. José Belso-Martínez & Xavier Molina-Morales & Francisco Más-Verdú, 2011. "How cluster membership places the mediatior effect of the internal resources on the association between KIBS and the growth of new innovative firms," ERSA conference papers ersa11p1732, European Regional Science Association.
  14. Effelsberg, Martin, 2011. "Wissenstransfer in Innovationskooperationen: Ergebnisse einer Literaturstudie zur "Absorptive Capacity"," Arbeitspapiere 107, Westfälsche Wilhelms-Universität Münster (WWU), Institut für Genossenschaftswesen.
  15. Peukert, Christian, 2011. "External technology supply and client-side innovation," ZEW Discussion Papers 11-082, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
  16. Magnus Gulbrandsen, 2012. "The co-evolution of research institutes with universities and user needs: a historical perspective," Working Papers on Innovation Studies 20120321, Centre for Technology, Innovation and Culture, University of Oslo.
  17. Faridah Djellal & FaÏz Gallouj, 2012. "Les réseaux d'innovation public-privé dans les services (RIPPS) ne sont pas des réseaux d'innovation (RI) comme les autres : quels enseignements pour les politiques publiques ?," Working Papers halshs-00657601, HAL.
  18. Cosh, A. & Zhang, J., 2012. "Variety of Search and Innovation: A Comparative Study of US Manufacturing and Knowledge Intensive Business Services Sectors," ESRC Centre for Business Research - Working Papers wp431, ESRC Centre for Business Research.

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