Making sense of innovation by R&D and non-R&D innovators in low technology contexts: a forgotten lesson for policymakers
AbstractThis paper attempts to use an integrated theory based on a firm’s internal and external sources of knowledge framework to analyze how different are R&D from non-R&D activities to innovate, specially in a context of low and medium low tech (LMT) sectors where most of the firms are SMEs. Simultaneously, the paper also explores the key differences between R&D and non-R&D innovators. The empirical analysis is based on a representative panel of 2023 Spanish manufacturing firms for 2005 and 2006 from the Spanish Ministry of Industry. Innovation in product and process is explained using non-R&D variables such as in Marketing, Design or hiring tertiary degree employees. Only innovation in product is explained by R&D expenditures. Addressing innovation in process, R&D variables work in few cases and neither R&D expenditures but occasionally R&D employees and are specially relevant the non-R&D variables. The interaction (moderating) effect is specially negative and significant, addressing the substitution effect with different implications regarding product or process innovation. Therefore, innovation can be explained using non-R&D variables such as investments in Marketing, Design, and other routines linked to human resources, technology monitoring committees or the existence of a formal plan to innovate. The firms with more internal resources, those which conduct R&D activities present a better AC and it leads to engage in cooperation agreements and access to external flows of knowledge. The paper has important implications for policymakers due to the fact that most of policies for R&D are based on R&D programmes, while there are other realities: non-R&D factors which also explain innovation, specially when considering low tech sector contexts. El presente artículo usa la teoría de recursos y capacidades para, a través de los recursos internos y externos de las empresas, analizar las actividades de R&D y las actividades de no-R&D en su impacto sobre la performance de innovación de la empresa, en un contexto sectorial de baja y media tecnología. Asimismo, el artículo explora el rol innovador de las empresas que hacen R&D y las que no lo hacen. Con una muestra de 2023 empresas manufactureras españolas, obtenemos un comportamiento innovador para la innovación en producto y en proceso y, sobre todo, observando que las actividades de R&D tienen muy poco peso explicativo sobre el resultado de innovación. El artículo presenta implicaciones para la Academia y los policymakers, sobre todo por el hecho de que la mayoría de las políticas de innovación se basan en actividades de R&D.
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 Instituto Valenciano de Investigaciones Económicas, S.A. (Ivie) in its series Working Papers. Serie EC with number 2011-06.
Length: 46 pages
Date of creation: Jul 2011
Date of revision:
Publication status: Published by Ivie
fuentes de innovación; estrategias de búsqueda de conocimiento externo; cooperación tecnológica; capacidad de absorción. innovation sources; technology cooperation; absorptive capacity; search strategies.;
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2011-09-22 (All new papers)
- NEP-CSE-2011-09-22 (Economics of Strategic Management)
- NEP-INO-2011-09-22 (Innovation)
- NEP-KNM-2011-09-22 (Knowledge Management & Knowledge Economy)
- NEP-PPM-2011-09-22 (Project, Program & Portfolio Management)
- NEP-SBM-2011-09-22 (Small Business Management)
- NEP-TID-2011-09-22 (Technology & Industrial Dynamics)
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.:
- Albaladejo, M. & Romijn, H., 2000.
"Determinants of innovation capability in small UK firms: an empirical analysis,"
Eindhoven Center for Innovation Studies (ECIS) working paper series
00.13, Eindhoven Center for Innovation Studies (ECIS).
- Henny Romijn and Manuel Albaladejo, . "Determinants of Innovation Capability in Small UK Firms: An Empirical Analysis," QEH Working Papers qehwps40, Queen Elizabeth House, University of Oxford.
- Narula,Rajneesh, 2001. "R&D Collaboration by SMEs: new opportunities and limitations in the face of globalisation," Research Memorandum 011, Maastricht University, Maastricht Economic Research Institute on Innovation and Technology (MERIT).
- Bruno Cassiman & Reinhilde Veugelers, 2002. "R&D Cooperation and Spillovers: Some Empirical Evidence from Belgium," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(4), pages 1169-1184, September.
- Bronwyn Hall & Francesca Lotti & Jacques Mairesse, 2009.
"Innovation and productivity in SMEs: empirical evidence for Italy,"
Small Business Economics,
Springer, vol. 33(1), pages 13-33, June.
- Bronwyn H. Hall & Francesca Lotti & Jacques Mairesse, 2008. "Innovation and Productivity in SMEs: Empirical Evidence for Italy," NBER Working Papers 14594, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Bronwyn H. Hall & Francesca Lotti & Jacques Mairesse, 2009. "Innovation and productivity in SMEs. Empirical evidence for Italy," Temi di discussione (Economic working papers) 718, Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area.
- Hagedoorn, John & Link, Albert N. & Vonortas, Nicholas S., 2000. "Research partnerships1," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 29(4-5), pages 567-586, April.
- Henderson, Rebecca. & Cockburn, Iain., 1994. "Measuring competence? : exploring firm effects in pharmaceutical research," Working papers 3712-94., Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Sloan School of Management.
- Pei-Chou Lin & Deng-Shing Huang, 2008. "Technological Regimes and Firm Survival: Evidence Across Sectors and Over Time," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 30(2), pages 175-186, February.
- Kirner, Eva & Kinkel, Steffen & Jaeger, Angela, 2009. "Innovation paths and the innovation performance of low-technology firms--An empirical analysis of German industry," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 38(3), pages 447-458, April.
- Escribano, Alvaro & Fosfuri, Andrea & Tribó, Josep A., 2009. "Managing external knowledge flows: The moderating role of absorptive capacity," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 38(1), pages 96-105, February.
- Christian Rammer & Dirk Czarnitzki & Alfred Spielkamp, 2009.
"Innovation success of non-R&D-performers: substituting technology by management in SMEs,"
Small Business Economics,
Springer, vol. 33(1), pages 35-58, June.
- Spielkamp, Alfred & Czarnitzki, Dirk & Rammer, Christian, 2008. "Innovation Success of Non-R&D-Performers: Substituting Technology by Management in SMEs," ZEW Discussion Papers 08-092, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
- Dirk Czarnitzki, 2006. "Research And Development In Small And Medium-Sized Enterprises: The Role Of Financial Constraints And Public Funding," Scottish Journal of Political Economy, Scottish Economic Society, vol. 53(3), pages 335-357, 07.
- Bengt-Âke Lundvall & Peter Nielsen, 1999. "Competition and transformation in the learning economy - Illustrated by the Danish case," Revue d'Économie Industrielle, Programme National Persée, vol. 88(1), pages 67-89.
- Alessandro Muscio, 2007. "THE IMPACT OF ABSORPTIVE CAPACITY ON SMEs' COLLABORATION," Economics of Innovation and New Technology, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 16(8), pages 653-668.
- Bougrain, Frederic & Haudeville, Bernard, 2002. "Innovation, collaboration and SMEs internal research capacities," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 31(5), pages 735-747, July.
- Santamara, Llus & Nieto, Mara Jess & Barge-Gil, Andrs, 2009. "Beyond formal R&D: Taking advantage of other sources of innovation in low- and medium-technology industries," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 38(3), pages 507-517, April.
- Franz Tödtling & Patrick Lehner & Alexander Kaufmann, 2008. "Do Different Types of Innovation Rely on Specific Kinds of Knowledge Interactions?," SRE-Disc sre-disc-2008_01, Institute for the Environment and Regional Development, Department of Socioeconomics, Vienna University of Economics and Business.
- Arbussa, Anna & Coenders, Germa, 2007. "Innovation activities, use of appropriation instruments and absorptive capacity: Evidence from Spanish firms," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 36(10), pages 1545-1558, December.
- Anker Lund Vinding, 2006. "Absorptive capacity and innovative performance: A human capital approach," Economics of Innovation and New Technology, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 15(4-5), pages 507-517.
- Lori Rosenkopf & Paul Almeida, 2003. "Overcoming Local Search Through Alliances and Mobility," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 49(6), pages 751-766, June.
- Caloghirou, Yannis & Tsakanikas, Aggelos & Vonortas, Nicholas S, 2001. " Univeristy-Industry Cooperation in the Context of the European Framework Programmes," The Journal of Technology Transfer, Springer, vol. 26(1-2), pages 153-61, January.
- Bruno Cassiman & Reinhilde Veugelers, 2006. "In Search of Complementarity in Innovation Strategy: Internal R& D and External Knowledge Acquisition," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 52(1), pages 68-82, January.
- Cockburn, Iain M & Henderson, Rebecca M, 1998. "Absorptive Capacity, Coauthoring Behavior, and the Organization of Research in Drug Discovery," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 46(2), pages 157-82, June.
- André van Stel & Roy Thurik & David Storey, 2006.
"The effect of business regulations on nascent and young business entrepreneurship,"
Scales Research Reports
H200609, EIM Business and Policy Research.
- André Stel & David Storey & A. Thurik, 2007. "The Effect of Business Regulations on Nascent and Young Business Entrepreneurship," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 28(2), pages 171-186, March.
- van Stel, A.J. & Storey, D. & Thurik, A.R., 2006. "The Effect of Business Regulations on Nascent and Young Business Entrepreneurship," ERIM Report Series Research in Management ERS-2006-052-ORG, Erasmus Research Institute of Management (ERIM), ERIM is the joint research institute of the Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University and the Erasmus School of Economics (ESE) at Erasmus Uni.
- Werner Hölzl, 2009.
"Is the R&D behaviour of fast-growing SMEs different? Evidence from CIS III data for 16 countries,"
Small Business Economics,
Springer, vol. 33(1), pages 59-75, June.
- Werner Hölzl, 2008. "Is the R&D Behaviour of Fast Growing SMEs Different? Evidence from CIS III Data for 16 Countries," WIFO Working Papers 327, WIFO.
- Jaffe, Adam B, 1989. "Real Effects of Academic Research," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 79(5), pages 957-70, December.
- Petr Hanel & Marc St-Pierre, 2006. "Industry–University Collaboration by Canadian Manufacturing Firms," The Journal of Technology Transfer, Springer, vol. 31(4), pages 485-499, 07.
- Raquel Ortega-Argilés & Marco Vivarelli & Peter Voigt, 2009. "R&D in SMEs: a paradox?," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 33(1), pages 3-11, June.
- Freel, Mark S., 2003. "Sectoral patterns of small firm innovation, networking and proximity," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 32(5), pages 751-770, May.
- Mark Freel, 2007. "Are Small Innovators Credit Rationed?," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 28(1), pages 23-35, January.
- Winter, Sidney G., 1984. "Schumpeterian competition in alternative technological regimes," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 5(3-4), pages 287-320.
- Kraft, Kornelius, 1989. "Market Structure, Firm Characteristics and Innovative Activity," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 37(3), pages 329-36, March.
- Erik Stam & Karl Wennberg, 2009.
"The roles of R&D in new firm growth,"
Small Business Economics,
Springer, vol. 33(1), pages 77-89, June.
- Jensen, Morten Berg & Johnson, Bjorn & Lorenz, Edward & Lundvall, Bengt Ake, 2007. "Forms of knowledge and modes of innovation," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 36(5), pages 680-693, June.
- Bengt-Åke Lundvall, 2002. "The University in the Learning Economy," DRUID Working Papers 02-06, DRUID, Copenhagen Business School, Department of Industrial Economics and Strategy/Aalborg University, Department of Business Studies.
- Grimpe, Christoph & Sofka, Wolfgang, 2009. "Search patterns and absorptive capacity: Low- and high-technology sectors in European countries," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 38(3), pages 495-506, April.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Departamento de Edición).
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.