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Analysis of SMEs partner proximity preferences for process innovation

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  • Kristina Jespersen

    () (Aarhus BSS, Aarhus University)

  • Damiana Rigamonti

    (Aarhus BSS, Aarhus University)

  • Morten Berg Jensen

    (Aarhus BSS, Aarhus University)

  • Rune Bysted

    (Aarhus BSS, Aarhus University)

Abstract

This paper explores small and medium enterprises’ (SMEs) proximity preferences when selecting partners for collaborative process innovation. Drawing on a survey of 362 Danish SMEs, we address four partner proximity characteristics: geographic, cognitive, organizational, and social. The results show that SMEs prioritize geographic openness over regional clustering. Furthermore, to simultaneously facilitate collaboration and ensure innovation, firms tend to collaborate with partners that are characterized by cognitive similarity at a technological level and knowledge distance at a market level. Technological proximity is also found to be more relevant than social proximity when it comes to bridging the potential geographic and market distance between the collaborative partners. Finally, the results indicate that the tendency of organizational proximity to facilitate informal interactions with partners enhances process innovation only at two of four process innovation levels. Thus, the results highlight the fact that the value of partner proximity characteristics change with the level of process innovation considered.

Suggested Citation

  • Kristina Jespersen & Damiana Rigamonti & Morten Berg Jensen & Rune Bysted, 2018. "Analysis of SMEs partner proximity preferences for process innovation," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 51(4), pages 879-904, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:sbusec:v:51:y:2018:i:4:d:10.1007_s11187-017-9969-0
    DOI: 10.1007/s11187-017-9969-0
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    Cited by:

    1. Małgorzata Wosiek & Adam Czudec, 2019. "The Relationship between the Entrepreneurship and the Local Environment: Evidence from Poland," European Research Studies Journal, European Research Studies Journal, vol. 0(4), pages 262-289.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Process innovation; Proximity; Partner collaboration;

    JEL classification:

    • L26 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior - - - Entrepreneurship
    • O31 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Innovation and Invention: Processes and Incentives
    • O18 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Urban, Rural, Regional, and Transportation Analysis; Housing; Infrastructure
    • O38 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Government Policy

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