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Innovation through R&D activities in the European context: antecedents and consequences


  • David Urbano

    () (Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona)

  • Andreu Turro

    () (Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona)

  • Sebastian Aparicio

    () (Durham University
    Fundación ECSIM)


Despite the fact that the determinants and the consequences of R&D activities have been extensively studied in previous research, further efforts to integrate disparate streams of literature might bring new insights into innovation decision-making by firms. In particular, this article studies the simultaneous effects that a set of factors (at both company and environmental levels of analysis) have on R&D activity, which explain firm growth. A two-stage probit least squares (2SPLS) estimation is applied to data from the EU-EFIGE/Bruegel-UniCredit dataset for seven European countries for the years 2007–2009. The main findings show that not all the R&D determinants lead to firm growth. In particular, R&D activities are affected by the employment of a significant number of foreign executives, a higher percentage of employees with fixed-term contracts, appropriate labour regulations and access to employees who have received external training, all of which are positively related to firm growth. Based on these results, policy and practical implications to improve firms’ performances are discussed.

Suggested Citation

  • David Urbano & Andreu Turro & Sebastian Aparicio, 2020. "Innovation through R&D activities in the European context: antecedents and consequences," The Journal of Technology Transfer, Springer, vol. 45(5), pages 1481-1504, October.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:jtecht:v:45:y:2020:i:5:d:10.1007_s10961-019-09752-x
    DOI: 10.1007/s10961-019-09752-x

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    More about this item


    R&D management; Firm growth; Innovation; Institutional economics; Resource-based theory;

    JEL classification:

    • L2 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior
    • M1 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Business Administration
    • O32 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Management of Technological Innovation and R&D
    • J6 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers
    • B52 - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology - - Current Heterodox Approaches - - - Historical; Institutional; Evolutionary; Modern Monetary Theory;


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