IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

The organisation of innovation: collaboration, cooperation and multifunctional groups in UK and German manufacturing


  • James H. Love
  • Stephen Roper


Marked differences exist between the institutional and social context for innovation in the UK and Germany. The question addressed here is how these different contexts affect the objectives and organisation of innovation in UK and German manufacturing. In particular, the paper examines the extent to which UK and German plants engage in inter-plant collaboration and cooperation and multifunctional working as part of their innovative activity, and explores the reasons for differences in these patterns of involvement. The investigation is based on a large-scale, comparative survey of manufacturing plants in the two countries. In Germany, institutional and social norms are found to encourage collaborative inter-plant innovation, but aspects of the German skills training and industrial relations systems make the adoption of more flexible internal systems more difficult. In the UK, by contrast, the more adversarial nature of inter-firm relations makes it more difficult to establish external collaborations based on mutual trust, but less restrictive labour market structures make it easier for UK plants to adopt multifunctional working. This is linked to differences in attitudes to the property rights and transaction cost problems inherent in innovation. Copyright 2004, Oxford University Press.

Suggested Citation

  • James H. Love & Stephen Roper, 2004. "The organisation of innovation: collaboration, cooperation and multifunctional groups in UK and German manufacturing," Cambridge Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 28(3), pages 379-395, May.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:cambje:v:28:y:2004:i:3:p:379-395

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: Access to full text is restricted to subscribers.

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to search for a different version of it.

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Nicolas Magud & Carmen M. Reinhart, 2007. "Capital Controls: An Evaluation," NBER Chapters,in: Capital Controls and Capital Flows in Emerging Economies: Policies, Practices and Consequences, pages 645-674 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Edison, Hali & Reinhart, Carmen M., 2001. "Stopping hot money," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 66(2), pages 533-553, December.
    3. Leonardo Villar & Hernán Rincón, 2000. "The Colombian Economy In The Nineties: Capital Flows And Foreign Exchange Regimes," BORRADORES DE ECONOMIA 003575, BANCO DE LA REPÚBLICA.
    4. M. Hashem Pesaran & Yongcheol Shin & Richard J. Smith, 2001. "Bounds testing approaches to the analysis of level relationships," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 16(3), pages 289-326.
    5. Antonio David, 2009. "Are price-based capital account regulations effective in developing countries?," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 41(26), pages 3375-3388.
    6. Rudger Dornbusch & Ilan Goldfajn & Rodrigo O. Valdés, 1995. "Currency Crises and Collapses," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 26(2), pages 219-294.
    7. Sims, Christopher A & Stock, James H & Watson, Mark W, 1990. "Inference in Linear Time Series Models with Some Unit Roots," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 58(1), pages 113-144, January.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. Stephen Roper & James Love & Priit Vahter, 2012. "The value of design strategies for new product development: Some econometric evidence," The Centre for Small and Medium Sized Enterprises Research Paper Series 114, Centre for Small and Medium Sized Enterprises, Warwick Business School, University of Warwick.
    2. Yiannis Spanos, 2012. "Conditionally-mediated effects of scale in collaborative R&D," The Journal of Technology Transfer, Springer, vol. 37(5), pages 696-714, October.
    3. Kostopoulos, Konstantinos & Papalexandris, Alexandros & Papachroni, Margarita & Ioannou, George, 2011. "Absorptive capacity, innovation, and financial performance," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 64(12), pages 1335-1343.
    4. Roper, Stephen & Hewitt-Dundas, Nola, 2015. "Knowledge stocks, knowledge flows and innovation: Evidence from matched patents and innovation panel data," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 44(7), pages 1327-1340.
    5. Roper, Stephen & Arvanitis, Spyros, 2012. "From knowledge to added value: A comparative, panel-data analysis of the innovation value chain in Irish and Swiss manufacturing firms," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 41(6), pages 1093-1106.
    6. Christian Rammer & Dirk Czarnitzki & Alfred Spielkamp, 2009. "Innovation success of non-R&D-performers: substituting technology by management in SMEs," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 33(1), pages 35-58, June.
    7. Schmiedeberg, Claudia, 2008. "Complementarities of innovation activities: An empirical analysis of the German manufacturing sector," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 37(9), pages 1492-1503, October.
    8. Roper, Stephen & Micheli, Pietro & Love, James H. & Vahter, Priit, 2016. "The roles and effectiveness of design in new product development: A study of Irish manufacturers," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 45(1), pages 319-329.

    More about this item


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:oup:cambje:v:28:y:2004:i:3:p:379-395. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Oxford University Press) or (Christopher F. Baum). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.