Firms as the source of innovation and growth: the evolution of technological competence
AbstractIt is argued that the firm is the principal source of innovation and growth, a device for the establishment of technological competence, and for its continued development over time. Markets, products and background knowledge may change quite dramatically over time. Yet as a result of the cumulative nature of learning in the production processes of firms, the profile of corporate technological competence will tend to persist over quite long periods, provided there is institutional continuity. Within the same firm, competence may evolve into related areas, but the firm's technological origins will remain identifiable in its subsequent trajectories. However, if the institution itself changes more dramatically, this technological persistence may be disrupted. Supporting evidence is provided from data on the patenting of 30 large US and European companies, which have been continuously active since the interwar period. The science and the knowledge base, and the composition of products and markets may shift quite radically, but the firm's productive and technological system itself is potentially more stable. The firm provides a vehicle for potential institutional continuity and a device for managing transitions within the economic system.
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
Bibliographic InfoArticle provided by Springer in its journal Journal of Evolutionary Economics.
Volume (Year): 9 (1999)
Issue (Month): 3 ()
Contact details of provider:
Web page: http://link.springer.de/link/service/journals/00191/index.htm
Find related papers by JEL classification:
- L23 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior - - - Organization of Production
- O31 - Economic Development, Technological Change, and Growth - - Technological Change; Research and Development; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Innovation and Invention: Processes and Incentives
- N80 - Economic History - - Micro-Business History - - - General, International, or Comparative
You can help add them by filling out this form.
CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
- Rossi, Federica, 2002. "An introductory overview of innovation studies," MPRA Paper 9106, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised Jun 2008.
- Fai, Felicia & von Tunzelmann, Nicholas, 2001. "Industry-specific competencies and converging technological systems: evidence from patents," Structural Change and Economic Dynamics, Elsevier, vol. 12(2), pages 141-170, July.
- Dimitri UZUNIDIS & Sophie BOUTILLIER, 2012. "Globalisation de la R&D et innovation collaborative : l’expansion des frontières de la firme GLOBALIZATION OF R&D AND COLLABORATIVE INNOVATION: THE EXPANSION OF THE FIRM’S BORDER," Working Papers 255, Laboratoire de Recherche sur l'Industrie et l'Innovation. ULCO / Research Unit on Industry and Innovation.
- Barnard, Helena, 2008. "Uneven domestic knowledge bases and the success of foreign firms in the USA," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 37(10), pages 1674-1683, December.
- Girum Abebe, 2012. "Ownership, Management Practices, Upgrading, and Productivity in the Metalworking sector: Evidence from Ethiopia," Working Papers 009, Ethiopian Development Research Institute - EDRI.
- Vertova, Giovanna, 2002. "A historical investigation of the geography of innovative activities," Structural Change and Economic Dynamics, Elsevier, vol. 13(3), pages 259-283, September.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Guenther Eichhorn) or (Christopher F Baum).
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.