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Brave old world: Accounting for 'high-tech' knowledge in 'low-tech' industries

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  • Mendona, Sandro

Abstract

'Lower-tech' sectors are still commonly regarded as unusual suspects in the modern process of innovation and economic change. In this paper we try to understand better how organisations specialising in traditional businesses have been transformed by a period of paradigm-shift such as the one that characterised the final decades of the twentieth century. We focus on a population of nearly 500 of the world's largest innovative companies to assess the extent to which companies belonging to 'old-economy' sectors have been developing cutting-edge knowledge about clusters of new technologies such as ICT, new materials and biotechnology. We find that 'non-high-tech' corporations transformed their patent portfolios in a non-trivial way. Companies in mature trades contributed significantly to the development of technologies that are at the core of the so-called Third Industrial Revolution.

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  • Mendona, Sandro, 2009. "Brave old world: Accounting for 'high-tech' knowledge in 'low-tech' industries," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 38(3), pages 470-482, April.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:respol:v:38:y:2009:i:3:p:470-482
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    Cited by:

    1. Attila Havas, 2015. "Various approaches to measuring business innovation: their relevance for capturing social innovation," IEHAS Discussion Papers 1554, Institute of Economics, Centre for Economic and Regional Studies, Hungarian Academy of Sciences.
    2. Attila Havas, 2016. "Social and Business Innovations: Are Common Measurement Approaches Possible?," Foresight and STI Governance (Foresight-Russia till No. 3/2015), National Research University Higher School of Economics, vol. 10(2), pages 58-80.
    3. repec:spr:scient:v:87:y:2011:i:1:d:10.1007_s11192-010-0316-3 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Havas, Attila, 2014. "Mit mér(j)ünk?. Az innováció értelmezései - szakpolitikai következmények
      [The theory and measurement of innovation and its mutual effect on policy]
      ," Közgazdasági Szemle (Economic Review - monthly of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences), Közgazdasági Szemle Alapítvány (Economic Review Foundation), vol. 0(9), pages 1022-1059.
    5. Martin Borowiecki & Bernhard Dachs & Doris Hanzl-Weiss & Steffen Kinkel & Johannes Pöschl & Magdolna Sass & Thomas Christian Schmall & Robert Stehrer & Andrea Szalavetz, 2012. "Global Value Chains and the EU Industry," wiiw Research Reports 383, The Vienna Institute for International Economic Studies, wiiw.
    6. repec:spr:manint:v:54:y:2014:i:5:d:10.1007_s11575-014-0219-2 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. Iizuka, Michiko & Soete, Luc, 2011. "Catching up in the 21st century: Globalization, knowledge & capabilities in Latin America, a case for natural resource based activities," MERIT Working Papers 071, United Nations University - Maastricht Economic and Social Research Institute on Innovation and Technology (MERIT).

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