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Going, going, gone. Exit forms and the innovative capabilities of firms


  • Cefis, Elena
  • Marsili, Orietta


Although innovation is essential to build a competitive advantage and survive in the long run, some firms choose to exit, through mergers and acquisitions (M&As), or radically change their business portfolio and identity. This paper examines how innovative capabilities influence the decision of a firm to exit, among business closure, M&A, and radical restructuring. Using an analysis of a large and rich panel of Dutch manufacturing firms, we find that product and process innovation are equally important to lower the probability to close down activities, and this effect is stronger when product and process innovations are pursed in combination. We also find that process innovation reduces the probability of exit by radical restructuring, while product innovation, when not supported by process innovation, especially increases the probability of exit by M&As. Our findings suggest that exit strategies are intimately bound to the nature and synergies of innovative efforts.

Suggested Citation

  • Cefis, Elena & Marsili, Orietta, 2012. "Going, going, gone. Exit forms and the innovative capabilities of firms," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 41(5), pages 795-807.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:respol:v:41:y:2012:i:5:p:795-807 DOI: 10.1016/j.respol.2012.01.006

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    Cited by:

    1. DeTienne, Dawn R. & McKelvie, Alexander & Chandler, Gaylen N., 2015. "Making sense of entrepreneurial exit strategies: A typology and test," Journal of Business Venturing, Elsevier, vol. 30(2), pages 255-272.
    2. Masatoshi Kato & Yuji Honjo, 2015. "Entrepreneurial human capital and the survival of new firms in high- and low-tech sectors," Journal of Evolutionary Economics, Springer, vol. 25(5), pages 925-957, November.
    3. F. G. Santeramo & B. K. Goodwin & F. Adinolfi & F. Capitanio, 2016. "Farmer Participation, Entry and Exit Decisions in the Italian Crop Insurance Programme," Journal of Agricultural Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 67(3), pages 639-657, September.
    4. Löher, Jonas & Paschke, Max & Schröder, Christian & Norkina, Alinia, 2017. "Kooperationen zwischen etabliertem Mittelstand und Start-ups," IfM-Materialien 258, Institut für Mittelstandsforschung (IfM) Bonn.
    5. Masatoshi Kato & Koichiro Onishi & Yuji Honjo, 2017. "Does patenting always help new-firm survival?," Discussion Paper Series 159, School of Economics, Kwansei Gakuin University, revised May 2017.
    6. repec:enr:rpaper:0017 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. Vu, Van Huong, 2012. "Private manufacturing SMEs survival and growth in Vietnam: The role of export participation," MPRA Paper 42489, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    8. Pål Børing, 2015. "The effects of firms’ R&D and innovation activities on their survival: a competing risks analysis," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 49(3), pages 1045-1069, November.
    9. Tsvetkova, Alexandra & Thill, Jean-Claude & Conroy, Tessa, 2016. "Firm patenting activity, metropolitan innovative environment and their effects on business survival in a high-tech industry," MPRA Paper 75783, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    10. Broström, Anders & Lööf, Hans & Nabavi, Pardis, 2016. "Inherited Advantage and Spinoff Success," Working Paper Series in Economics and Institutions of Innovation 437, Royal Institute of Technology, CESIS - Centre of Excellence for Science and Innovation Studies.
    11. Huong Vu & Steven Lim, 2013. "Exports and Firm survival: The first evidence from Vietnam private manufacturing SMEs," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 33(2), pages 1259-1268.
    12. Hyytinen, Ari & Pajarinen, Mika & Rouvinen, Petri, 2015. "Does innovativeness reduce startup survival rates?," Journal of Business Venturing, Elsevier, vol. 30(4), pages 564-581.
    13. Clausen, Saskia & Hirth, Stefan, 2016. "Measuring the value of intangibles," Journal of Corporate Finance, Elsevier, vol. 40(C), pages 110-127.

    More about this item


    Firm exit; Merger and acquisition (M&A); Restructuring; Product and process innovation; Competing risks model;

    JEL classification:

    • L11 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Production, Pricing, and Market Structure; Size Distribution of Firms
    • L25 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior - - - Firm Performance
    • D21 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - Firm Behavior: Theory
    • O32 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Management of Technological Innovation and R&D


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