Measuring Informal Innovation: From Non-R&D to On-line Knowledge Production
AbstractIn this paper we explore the concept of informal innovation by investigating it both on the input (activities) and output (impact) side of the innovation process. Informal innovation is defined as innovation that is not explicitly planned and budgeted and therefore remains largely hidden in (aggregate) innovation data. We take a statistical approach to reveal the significant potential of informal innovation. We furthermore conceptualize and operationalize informal innovation as an activity taking place without R&D (in non-R&D firms). In general, on the input side, we show that around half of the innovative firms in our sample (of innovative firms in the Swiss Innovation Survey of 2002) develop innovations without any R&D. Moreover, on the output side, over one third of the innovative sales and production cost reductions can be attributed to informal innovation. Although the results appear to be rather pervasive, they are strongest for small firms, low-tech firms and firms in service industries. This leads us to conclude that informal innovation is not just an important complement to formal innovation – as scarcely acknowledged in literature – but that is largely takes place next to and as a substitute for formal innovation as well – which is largely neglected in literature to date. We furthermore explore the possible attributes of the process of informal innovation and develop a preliminary framework that needs to be investigated into further detail by future research. In particular, we argue that ‘on-line’ activities are a crucial part of the innovation process, although it has been largely neglected to date. It becomes clear that the literature on learning-by-doing and learning-by-using needs to be expanded by more explicitly focusing on the processes that are at the heart of the (informal) innovation process in order to clearly show the sources of innovation. In order to do this, we indicate some possible avenues for future research to improve the measurement of (informal) innovation.
Download InfoTo our knowledge, this item is not available for download. To find whether it is available, there are three options:
1. Check below under "Related research" whether another version of this item is available online.
2. Check on the provider's web page whether it is in fact available.
3. Perform a search for a similarly titled item that would be available.
Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne, Collège du Management de la Technologie, Management of Technology and Entrepreneurship Institute, Chaire en Economie et Management de l'Innovation in its series CEMI Working Papers with number cemi-report-2006-009.
Length: 23 pages
Date of creation: Mar 2006
Date of revision:
informal R&D; on-line innovation; learning-by-doing; user innovation; community innovation survey;
Find related papers by JEL classification:
- O31 - Economic Development, Technological Change, and Growth - - Technological Change; Research and Development; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Innovation and Invention: Processes and Incentives
- O32 - Economic Development, Technological Change, and Growth - - Technological Change; Research and Development; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Management of Technological Innovation and R&D
- D83 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Search, Learning, and Information
- C81 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Data Collection and Data Estimation Methodology; Computer Programs - - - Methodology for Collecting, Estimating, and Organizing Microeconomic Data; Data Access
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2006-04-29 (All new papers)
- NEP-INO-2006-04-29 (Innovation)
- NEP-TID-2006-04-29 (Technology & Industrial Dynamics)
You can help add them by filling out this form.
CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
- Andreia Cardoso & Aurora A.C. Teixeira, 2009. "Returns on R&D investment: A comprehensive survey on the magnitude and evaluation methodologies," UITT Working Papers 2009-03-wp1, INESC Porto, Unidade de Inovação e Transferência de Tecnologia(UITT).
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Tea Danelutti).
If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.
If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.
If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.
Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.