Innovate or Die? A critical review of the literature on innovation and performance
AbstractThe idea that innovation leads to positive economic performance has become a sort of truism in recent years. However, empirical evidence showing that innovating organizations and countries outperform non-innovating ones remains scant and scattered. In many ways, the jury is still out. First of all, there is still little agreement about what ‘performance’ means. The range of indicators adopted in the literature varies widely: financial performance, market shares, new products introduced into the market, patents, GDP growth, and so on. Second, the time lag between innovative efforts and performance is often so large, and so industry specific, that it remains just very hard to produce reliable estimates. Third, it is still unclear at what level of analysis one should go looking for positive economic performance. Studies exist that look at the relationship between performance and innovation at the level of design teams, projects, firms, networks, industries, and countries. This paper aims at critically reviewing the wide, yet remarkably scattered literature that aims at measuring and explaining the relationship between innovation and performance. It builds upon an extensive review of contributions in economics, management and organisation sciences to identify trends and results that are consistent and robust. In a nutshell, this paper argues that country- and sectoral-level approaches which emphasize the role that knowledge, spillovers and human capital play in fostering economic growth trough innovation need to consider the fundamental role played by competition among heterogeneous organisations in igniting the growth process. In this respect, micro-and firm-level studies can provide useful insights about how competition fosters learning, innovation and ultimately growth.
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 InfoPaper provided by KITeS, Centre for Knowledge, Internationalization and Technology Studies, Universita' Bocconi, Milano, Italy in its series KITeS Working Papers with number 179.
Length: 28 pages
Date of creation: Aug 2006
Date of revision: Sep 2006
Contact details of provider:
Postal: via Sarfatti, 25 - 20136 Milano - Italy
Web page: http://www.kites.unibocconi.it/
Postal: E G E A - via R. Sarfatti, 25 - 20136 Milano -Italy
Find related papers by JEL classification:
- O14 - Economic Development, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Industrialization; Manufacturing and Service Industries; Choice of Technology
- O33 - Economic Development, Technological Change, and Growth - - Technological Change; Research and Development; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Technological Change: Choices and Consequences; Diffusion Processes
- O40 - Economic Development, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity - - - General
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Aghion, P. & Howitt, P., 1989.
"A Model Of Growth Through Creative Destruction,"
527, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
- Philippe Aghion & Peter Howitt, 1990. "A Model of Growth Through Creative Destruction," NBER Working Papers 3223, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Aghion, P. & Howitt, P., 1990. "A Model Of Growth Through Creative Destruction," DELTA Working Papers 90-12, DELTA (Ecole normale supérieure).
- Aghion, P. & Howitt, P., 1989. "A Model Of Growth Through Creative Destruction," UWO Department of Economics Working Papers 8904, University of Western Ontario, Department of Economics.
- Breschi, Stefano & Lissoni, Francesco, 2001.
"Knowledge Spillovers and Local Innovation Systems: A Critical Survey,"
Industrial and Corporate Change,
Oxford University Press, vol. 10(4), pages 975-1005, December.
- Breschi, Stefano & Lissoni, Francesco, 2000. "Knowledge Spillovers And Local Innovation Systems: A Critical Survey," ERSA conference papers ersa00p362, European Regional Science Association.
- Stefano Breschi & Francesco Lissoni, 2001. "Knowledge spillovers and local innovation systems: a critical survey," LIUC Papers in Economics 84, Cattaneo University (LIUC).
- Montobbio Fabio & Rampa Francesco, 2002.
"The impact of technology and structural change on export performance on nine developing coutries,"
Economics and Quantitative Methods
qf0219, Department of Economics, University of Insubria.
- Montobbio, Fabio & Rampa, Francesco, 2005. "The impact of technology and structural change on export performance in nine developing countries," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 33(4), pages 527-547, April.
- Winter, Sidney G., 1984. "Schumpeterian competition in alternative technological regimes," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 5(3-4), pages 287-320.
- Malerba, Franco & Orsenigo, Luigi, 1995. "Schumpeterian Patterns of Innovation," Cambridge Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 19(1), pages 47-65, February.
- P. Geroski, 1998.
"An Applied Econometrician's View of Large Company Performance,"
Review of Industrial Organization,
Springer, vol. 13(3), pages 271-294, June.
- Geroski, Paul A, 1998. "An Applied Econometrician's View of Large Company Performance," CEPR Discussion Papers 1862, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
- Jones, Charles I, 1995. "Time Series Tests of Endogenous Growth Models," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 110(2), pages 495-525, May.
- Jones, Charles I, 1995. "R&D-Based Models of Economic Growth," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 103(4), pages 759-84, August.
- Paul Romer, 1991.
"Endogenous Technological Change,"
NBER Working Papers
3210, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Wakelin, Katharine, 1998. "Innovation and export behaviour at the firm level," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 26(7-8), pages 829-841, April.
- Alwyn Young, 1998. "Growth without Scale Effects," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 106(1), pages 41-63, February.
- Sterlacchini, Alessandro, 1999.
"Do innovative activities matter to small firms in non-R&D-intensive industries? An application to export performance,"
Elsevier, vol. 28(8), pages 819-832, November.
- Alessandro STERLACCHINI, 1998. "Do innovative activities matter to small firms in non-R&D-intensive industries? An application to export performances," Working Papers 109, Universita' Politecnica delle Marche (I), Dipartimento di Scienze Economiche e Sociali.
- Audretsch, David B., 1995. "Innovation, growth and survival," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 13(4), pages 441-457, December.
- Malerba, Franco & Orsenigo, Luigi & Peretto, Pietro, 1997. "Persistence of innovative activities, sectoral patterns of innovation and international technological specialization," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 15(6), pages 801-826, October.
- Chris Freeman & Luc Soete, 1997. "The Economics of Industrial Innovation, 3rd Edition," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 3, volume 1, number 0262061953, December.
- Roper, Stephen & Love, James H., 2002. "Innovation and export performance: evidence from the UK and German manufacturing plants," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 31(7), pages 1087-1102, September.
- Verspagen, B., 2000.
"Economic growth and technological change: an evolutionary interpretation,"
Eindhoven Center for Innovation Studies (ECIS) working paper series
00.12, Eindhoven Center for Innovation Studies (ECIS).
- Verspagen, B., 2000. "Economic growth and technological change: an evolutionary interpretation," Working Papers 00.12, Eindhoven Center for Innovation Studies.
- Bart Verspagen, 2001. "Economic Growth and Technological Change: An Evolutionary Interpretation," OECD Science, Technology and Industry Working Papers 2001/1, OECD Publishing.
- Rana Hasan & Mayank Raturi, 2003. "Does Investing in Technology Affect Exports? Evidence from Indian Firms," Review of Development Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 7(2), pages 279-293, 05.
- Katharine Wakelin, 1998. "The role of innovation in bilateral OECD trade performance," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 30(10), pages 1335-1346.
- Malerba, Franco & Orsenigo, Luigi, 1996. "Schumpeterian patterns of innovation are technology-specific," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 25(3), pages 451-478, May.
- Cohen, Wesley M. & Levin, Richard C., 1989. "Empirical studies of innovation and market structure," Handbook of Industrial Organization, in: R. Schmalensee & R. Willig (ed.), Handbook of Industrial Organization, edition 1, volume 2, chapter 18, pages 1059-1107 Elsevier.
- Mankiw, N Gregory & Romer, David & Weil, David N, 1992.
"A Contribution to the Empirics of Economic Growth,"
The Quarterly Journal of Economics,
MIT Press, vol. 107(2), pages 407-37, May.
- Hopenhayn, Hugo A, 1992. "Entry, Exit, and Firm Dynamics in Long Run Equilibrium," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 60(5), pages 1127-50, September.
- Paul M Romer, 1999.
"Increasing Returns and Long-Run Growth,"
Levine's Working Paper Archive
2232, David K. Levine.
- Fabio Montobbio, 2003. "Sectoral patterns of technological activity and export market share dynamics," Cambridge Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 27(4), pages 523-545, July.
- Fagerberg, Jan, 1994. "Technology and International Differences in Growth Rates," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 32(3), pages 1147-75, September.
- Peretto, Pietro F, 1998.
" Technological Change and Population Growth,"
Journal of Economic Growth,
Springer, vol. 3(4), pages 283-311, December.
- Geroski, Paul A & Samiei, Hossein & Van Reenen, John, 1996.
"How Persistently do Firms Innovate?,"
CEPR Discussion Papers
1433, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
- Agarwal, Rajshree & Audretsch, David B, 2001. "Does Entry Size Matter? The Impact of the Life Cycle and Technology on Firm Survival," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 49(1), pages 21-43, March.
- Basile, Roberto, 2001. "Export behaviour of Italian manufacturing firms over the nineties: the role of innovation," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 30(8), pages 1185-1201, October.
- Zucker, Lynne G & Darby, Michael R & Armstrong, Jeff, 1998. "Geographically Localized Knowledge: Spillovers or Markets?," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 36(1), pages 65-86, January.
- Peter W Roberts, 2001. "Innovation and firm-level persistent profitability: a Schumpeterian framework," Managerial and Decision Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 22(4-5), pages 239-250.
- A. Gourlay & J. Seaton, 2004. "Explaining the decision to export: evidence from UK firms," Applied Economics Letters, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 11(3), pages 153-158.
- Glen, Jack & Lee, Kevin & Singh, Ajit, 2001. "Persistence of profitability and competition in emerging markets," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 72(2), pages 247-253, August.
- Peter Klenow & Andrés Rodríguez-Clare, 1997. "The Neoclassical Revival in Growth Economics: Has It Gone Too Far?," NBER Chapters, in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 1997, Volume 12, pages 73-114 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Cefis, Elena, 2003. "Is there persistence in innovative activities?," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 21(4), pages 489-515, April.
- Geroski, Paul A & Jacquemin, Alexis, 1988. "The Persistence of Profits: A European Comparison," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 98(391), pages 375-89, June.
- Mata, Jose & Portugal, Pedro, 1994. "Life Duration of New Firms," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 42(3), pages 227-45, September.
- Martijn J. Smit & Maria A. Abreu & Henri L.F. de Groot, 2010. "Micro-Evidence on the Determinants of Innovation in The Netherlands: The Relative Importance of Absorptive Capacity and Agglomeration Externalities," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 10-060/3, Tinbergen Institute.
- Oliver Falck, 2007. "Heavyweights – The Impact of Large Businesses on Productivity Growth," CESifo Working Paper Series 2135, CESifo Group Munich.
- Voeten, Jaap & Haan, Job de & Groot, Gerard de, 2009. "Is that Innovation? Assessing Examples of Revitalized Economic Dynamics among Clusters of Small Producers in Northern Vietnam," MERIT Working Papers 055, United Nations University - Maastricht Economic and Social Research Institute on Innovation and Technology (MERIT).
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Valerio Sterzi).
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.