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Technological diversification within UK’s small serial innovators

Author

Listed:
  • Carlo Corradini

    () (Aston University)

  • Pelin Demirel

    () (Southampton Business School)

  • Giuliana Battisti

    () (Warwick Business School)

Abstract

Abstract This paper investigates the determinants of technological diversification among UK’s small serial innovators (SSIs). Using a longitudinal study of 339 UK-based small businesses accounting for almost 7000 patents between 1990 and 2006, this study constitutes the first empirical examination of technological diversification among SMEs in the literature. Results demonstrate that technological diversification is not solely a large firm activity, challenging the dominant view that innovative SMEs are extremely focused and specialised players with little technological diversification. Our findings suggest a nonlinear (i.e. inverse-U-shaped) relationship between the level of technological opportunities in the environment and the SSIs’ degree of technological diversification. This points to a trade-off between processes of exploration and exploitation across increasingly volatile technology regimes. The paper also demonstrates that small firms with impactful innovations focus their innovative activity around similar technological capabilities while firms that have introduced platform technologies in the past are more likely to engage in technological diversification.

Suggested Citation

  • Carlo Corradini & Pelin Demirel & Giuliana Battisti, 2016. "Technological diversification within UK’s small serial innovators," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 47(1), pages 163-177, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:sbusec:v:47:y:2016:i:1:d:10.1007_s11187-015-9698-1
    DOI: 10.1007/s11187-015-9698-1
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Corradini, Carlo & De Propris, Lisa, 2017. "Beyond local search: Bridging platforms and inter-sectoral technological integration," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 46(1), pages 196-206.
    2. Giovanni Dosi & Marco Grazzi & Daniele Moschella, 2017. "What do firms know? What do they produce? A new look at the relationship between patenting profiles and patterns of product diversification," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 48(2), pages 413-429, February.

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