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High Growth Firms and Technological Knowledge: Do gazelles follow exploration or exploitation strategies?

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Author Info

  • Alessandra Colombelli

    (GREDEG - Groupe de Recherche en Droit, Economie et Gestion - Université Nice Sophia Antipolis [UNS] - CNRS : UMR6227)

  • Jackie Krafft

    (GREDEG - Groupe de Recherche en Droit, Economie et Gestion - Université Nice Sophia Antipolis [UNS] - CNRS : UMR6227)

  • Francesco Quatraro

    (GREDEG - Groupe de Recherche en Droit, Economie et Gestion - Université Nice Sophia Antipolis [UNS] - CNRS : UMR6227, Department of Economics, University of Turin - University of Turin)

Abstract

This paper analyzes the contribution of high-growth firms to the process of knowledge creation. We articulate a demand-pull innovation framework in which knowledge creation is driven by sales growth, and knowledge stems from creative recombination. Given the established literature on high growth firms and economic growth, we wonder whether gazelles follow patterns of knowledge creation mostly dominated by exploration or exploitation strategies. To this purpose, we derive indicators able to describe the structure of knowledge and qualify firms' innovation strategies. The empirical results suggest that the reality is richer than the interpretative frameworks. Increasing growth rates are indeed associated to exploration strategies, supporting the idea that high growth firms are key actors in the creation of new technological knowledge. But in the meantime, firms showing growth rates significantly higher than the average are able to command the exploration strategies by constraining them within the boundaries of familiar technological competences, suggesting that the exploration process is less random than anticipated. We end up with the result that high growth firms, and especially gazelles, follow predominantly an exploration strategy, but with the characteristics of an organized search which is often more observed in an exploitation strategy.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by HAL in its series Working Papers with number hal-00666707.

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Date of creation: 06 Feb 2012
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Handle: RePEc:hal:wpaper:hal-00666707

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Related research

Keywords: Gazelles; Recombinant Knowledge; Schumpeterian innovation patterns;

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References

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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Jackie Krafft & Francesco Quatraro & Pier-Paolo Saviotti, 2013. "The dynamics of knowledge-intensive sectors' knowledge base: Evidence from Biotechnology and Telecommunications," Working Papers hal-00991397, HAL.
  2. Stefano Bianchini & Giulio Bottazzi & Federico Tamagni, 2014. "What does (or does not) determine persistent corporate high-growth ?," LEM Papers Series 2014/11, Laboratory of Economics and Management (LEM), Sant'Anna School of Advanced Studies, Pisa, Italy.
  3. Antonelli Cristiano & Colombelli Alessandra, 2013. "Knowledge cumulability and complementarity in the knowledge generation function," Department of Economics and Statistics Cognetti de Martiis. Working Papers 201305, University of Turin.
  4. Claudia Ghisetti & Francesco Quatraro, 2013. "Beyond the Inducement in Climate Change: Do Environmental Performances Spur Enrivornmental Technologies? A Regional Analysis of Cross-Sectoral Differences," Working Papers 2013112, University of Ferrara, Department of Economics.
  5. Alessandra Colombelli & Jackie Krafft & Francesco Quatraro, 2012. "The emergence of new technology-based sectors at the regional level: a proximity-based analysis of nanotechnology," Papers in Evolutionary Economic Geography (PEEG) 1211, Utrecht University, Section of Economic Geography, revised Jun 2012.
  6. Krafft Jackie & Quatraro Francesco & Saviotti Pier Paolo, 2011. "Knowledge characteristics and the dynamics of technological alliances in Pharmaceuticals: Empirical evidence from Europe, US and Japan," Department of Economics and Statistics Cognetti de Martiis LEI & BRICK - Laboratory of Economics of Innovation "Franco Momigliano", Bureau of Research in Innovation, Complexity and Knowledge, Collegio 201113, University of Turin.
  7. Alessandra Colombelli & Francesco Quatraro, 2013. "The persistence of firms' knowledge base: A quantile approach to Italian data," Working Papers hal-00867132, HAL.
  8. Francesco Quatraro, 2013. "Co-evolutionary patterns in regional knowledge bases and economic structure: evidence from European Regions," Working Papers hal-00992080, HAL.
  9. Francesco Quatraro, 2012. "The Co-Evolution of Knowledge and Economic Structure: Evidence from European Regions," GREDEG Working Papers 2012-16, Groupe de REcherche en Droit, Economie, Gestion (GREDEG CNRS), University of Nice Sophia Antipolis.

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