The organisational-cooperation mode of innovation and its prominence amongst European service firms
Analysing survey data concerning the innovation orientations of 2500 European firms, this paper uses the exploratory statistical technique of multiple correspondence analysis to identify three distinct modes of innovation: a product-research mode; a process-technologies mode; and an organisational-cooperation mode. The first two of these are forms of technological innovation that are well established in the innovation studies literature. The third is a form of organisational innovation, about which much less is known. Aside from identifying statistically these three modes of innovation, we show that firms of different sizes and in different sectors have different propensities to engage in each of them. High-technology firms are, for example, the most likely of all firms to engage in the product-research mode, whilst low-technology manufacturers are the most likely to engage in the process-technologies mode. Meanwhile, the organisational-cooperation mode, which involves supply-chain rather than research-based cooperative practices, is particularly prominent in services, especially in trade and distribution services. This fits with the view that innovation in services is often 'soft', rather than primarily technological, involving organisational and relational changes within supply-chains or networks.
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