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Innovation paths and the innovation performance of low-technology firms--An empirical analysis of German industry

Listed author(s):
  • Kirner, Eva
  • Kinkel, Steffen
  • Jaeger, Angela

This paper analyses innovation paths and the innovation performance of low-technology firms in comparison to medium- and high-technology firms. Firstly, it shows that low-, medium- and high-technology sectors consist of a considerable mix of low-, medium- and high-technology firms. Thus, it is necessary to look at the firm level when analysing how innovation patterns differ depending on the level of R&D intensity. Secondly, the product and process innovation performance of low-technology firms in German industry is analysed based on data from 1663 firms in the German Manufacturing Survey 2006, applying a set of both product and process related innovation output indicators. The empirical results show that low-technology manufacturing firms lag behind their medium- and high-tech counterparts regarding their product and service innovation performance, to a large degree on purely definitional grounds, but that they seem to perform equally well and in some respects even better at process innovation.

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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Research Policy.

Volume (Year): 38 (2009)
Issue (Month): 3 (April)
Pages: 447-458

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Handle: RePEc:eee:respol:v:38:y:2009:i:3:p:447-458
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/respol

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  1. 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.
  2. Wagner, Joachim, 2001. "The causal effects of exports on firm size and labor productivity: First evidence from a matching approach," HWWA Discussion Papers 155, Hamburg Institute of International Economics (HWWA).
  3. Bruce Kogut & Udo Zander, 1992. "Knowledge of the Firm, Combinative Capabilities, and the Replication of Technology," Organization Science, INFORMS, vol. 3(3), pages 383-397, August.
  4. Mariacristina Piva & Marco Vivarelli, 2002. "The Skill Bias: Comparative evidence and an econometric test," International Review of Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 16(3), pages 347-357.
  5. Freddi, Daniela, 2009. "The integration of old and new technological paradigms in low- and medium-tech sectors: The case of mechatronics," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 38(3), pages 548-558, April.
  6. Kinkel, Steffen & Lay, Gunter, 2003. "Fertigungstiefe: Ballast oder Kapital? Stand und Effekte von Out- und Insourcing im Verarbeitenden Gewerbe Deutschlands," Bulletins "German Manufacturing Survey" 30, Fraunhofer Institute for Systems and Innovation Research (ISI).
  7. Robertson, Paul L. & Patel, Parimal R., 2007. "New wine in old bottles: Technological diffusion in developed economies," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 36(5), pages 708-721, June.
  8. Andrew B. Bernard, 2004. "Exporting and Productivity in the USA," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 20(3), pages 343-357, Autumn.
  9. Almas Heshmati, 2003. "Productivity Growth, Efficiency and Outsourcing in Manufacturing and Service Industries," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 17(1), pages 79-112, February.
  10. Sourafel Girma & David Greenaway & Richard Kneller, 2004. "Does Exporting Increase Productivity? A Microeconometric Analysis of Matched Firms," Review of International Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 12(5), pages 855-866, November.
  11. Chris Freeman & Luc Soete, 1997. "The Economics of Industrial Innovation, 3rd Edition," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 3, volume 1, number 0262061953.
  12. Kathleen R. Conner & C. K. Prahalad, 1996. "A Resource-Based Theory of the Firm: Knowledge Versus Opportunism," Organization Science, INFORMS, vol. 7(5), pages 477-501, October.
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