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The regional embeddedness of small manufacturing and service firms: regional networking as knowledge source for innovation?

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  • Koschatzky, Knut
  • Zenker, Andrea
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    Abstract

    Information and knowledge are important prerequisites for innovation activity in firms. One important means of acquiring coplementary knowledge are innovation networks. Depending on their absortive capacity and knowledge base, firms develop different abilities to access and utilise external knowledge. These abilities might also be linked to firm size. Although size as such is not a decisive criterion for distinguishing between the innovative performance of firms, it can at least be used to classify firms according to common structural characteristics. It is objective of this paper to analyse whether the size of a firm significantly affects its innovative behaviour and cooperation pattern and whether there are differences between manufacturing firms and business-related service firms. Using data from a regional innovation survey carried out in Germany, we come to the conclusion that for structural firm characteristics, innovation strategies, information use and innovation network size matters. Small manufacturing and service firms mainly behave similar and are more regionally orientated in their market reach and knowledge acquisition than large firms- Especially small firms in intermediate and rural areas strongly depend on regionally available knowledge sources and are therefore discriminated compared to large firms which make a more frequent use of knowledge and information sources from outside the region. --

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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by Fraunhofer Institute for Systems and Innovation Research (ISI) in its series Working Papers "Firms and Region" with number R2/1999.

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    Date of creation: 1999
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    Handle: RePEc:zbw:fisifr:r21999

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    1. Rosenberg, Nathan, 1990. "Why do firms do basic research (with their own money)?," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 19(2), pages 165-174, April.
    2. David Keeble & Frank Wilkinson, 1999. "Collective Learning and Knowledge Development in the Evolution of Regional Clusters of High Technology SMEs in Europe," Regional Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 33(4), pages 295-303.
    3. Roberta Capello, 1999. "Spatial Transfer of Knowledge in High Technology Milieux: Learning Versus Collective Learning Processes," Regional Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 33(4), pages 353-365.
    4. Saviotti, Pier Paolo, 1998. "On the dynamics of appropriability, of tacit and of codified knowledge," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 26(7-8), pages 843-856, April.
    5. Michael Fritsch & Monika Meschede, 2001. "Product Innovation, Process Innovation, and Size," Review of Industrial Organization, Springer, vol. 19(3), pages 335-350, November.
    6. DeBresson, Chris & Amesse, Fernand, 1991. "Networks of innovators :A review and introduction to the issue," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 20(5), pages 363-379, October.
    7. Michael Fritsch, 2001. "Co-operation in Regional Innovation Systems," Regional Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 35(4), pages 297-307.
    8. Bas ter Weel & L. Soete & B. Verspagen, 2010. "Systems of innovation," CPB Discussion Paper 138, CPB Netherlands Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis.
      • Soete, Luc & Verspagen, Bart & Weel, Bas ter, 2009. "Systems of Innovation," MERIT Working Papers 062, United Nations University - Maastricht Economic and Social Research Institute on Innovation and Technology (MERIT).
    9. Tether, B. S. & Smith, I. J. & Thwaites, A. T., 1997. "Smaller enterprises and innovation in the UK: the SPRU innovations database revisited," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 26(1), pages 19-32, March.
    10. Tether, B. S., 1998. "Small and large firms: sources of unequal innovations?," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 27(7), pages 725-745, November.
    11. W J Coffey & M Pol�se, 1987. "Trade and location of producer services: a Canadian perspective," Environment and Planning A, Pion Ltd, London, vol. 19(5), pages 597-611, May.
    12. Cowan, Robin & Foray, Dominique, 1997. "The Economics of Codification and the Diffusion of Knowledge," Industrial and Corporate Change, Oxford University Press, vol. 6(3), pages 595-622, September.
    13. Clive Lawson & Edward Lorenz, 1999. "Collective Learning, Tacit Knowledge and Regional Innovative Capacity," Regional Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 33(4), pages 305-317.
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    Cited by:
    1. Nicoletta Corrocher & Lucia Cusmano & Andrea Morrison, 2009. "Modes of innovation in knowledge-intensive business services evidence from Lombardy," Journal of Evolutionary Economics, Springer, vol. 19(2), pages 173-196, April.
    2. Muller, Emmanuel & Zenker, Andrea, 2001. "Business services as actors of knowledge transformation and diffusion: some empirical findings on the role of KIBS in regional and national innovation systems," Working Papers "Firms and Region" R2/2001, Fraunhofer Institute for Systems and Innovation Research (ISI).
    3. Meng, Rüdiger, 2009. "Standort und Innovation - Innovationsaktivitäten und Forschungskooperationen von Unternehmen aus regionaler Perspektive," Arbeitsmaterial der ARL: Aufsätze, in: Innovationen im Raum - Raum für Innovationen: 11. Junges Forum der ARL, 21. bis 23. Mai 2008 in Berlin, pages 40-52 Akademie für Raumforschung und Landesplanung (ARL) - Leibniz-Forum für Raumwissenschaften.
    4. Muller, Emmanuel & Zenker, Andrea, 2001. "Business services as actors of knowledge transformation: the role of KIBS in regional and national innovation systems," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 30(9), pages 1501-1516, December.
    5. Koschatzky, Knut & Bross, Ulrike, 1999. "Struktur und Dynamik von regionalen Innovationsnetzwerken unter Transformationsbedingungen - das Beispiel Slowenien," Working Papers "Firms and Region" R4/1999, Fraunhofer Institute for Systems and Innovation Research (ISI).

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