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The relationship between international innovation collaboration, intramural R&D and SMEs’ innovation performance: a quantile regression approach


  • Bernd Ebersberger
  • Sverre J. Herstad


In the current global economic landscape, it is virtually impossible for any single firm to stay abreast of all relevant technological advances. Thus integration in global innovation networks is becoming more and more important for competitiveness and growth. However, the fact that international collaboration is organizationally demanding raises important questions concerning the relative importance of international collaboration and intramural R&D for innovation performance, and how they interact in determining it. These questions are particularly relevant in the context of SMEs due to the narrower internal knowledge bases of smaller organizations. In the following they are investigated using Norwegian innovation survey data and quantile regression. Firms in the upper quantile of the innovation performance distribution face a trade-off between engaging in global innovation collaboration and engaging in systematic R&D, where both individually have a positive effect. This is consistent with baseline OLS findings. By contrast, firms in the lower quantiles of the distribution are found to strengthen their performance by means of R&D only. Consequently, the baseline OLS regression results fail to capture the determinants of innovation performance for the population of SMEs that are not already strong innovation performers. This leads to a risk of excessive SME innovation policy emphasis on inducing international collaboration.

Suggested Citation

  • Bernd Ebersberger & Sverre J. Herstad, 2013. "The relationship between international innovation collaboration, intramural R&D and SMEs’ innovation performance: a quantile regression approach," Applied Economics Letters, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 20(7), pages 626-630, May.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:apeclt:v:20:y:2013:i:7:p:626-630
    DOI: 10.1080/13504851.2012.724158

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    Cited by:

    1. Sverre J. Herstad & Tore Sandven & Espen Solberg, 2013. "Location, education and enterprise growth," Applied Economics Letters, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 20(10), pages 1019-1022, July.
    2. repec:eee:techno:v:64-65:y:2017:i::p:16-27 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Briggs, Kristie, 2015. "Co-owner relationships conducive to high quality joint patents," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 44(8), pages 1566-1573.
    4. Juana Sanchez, 2014. "Non-technological and Mixed Modes of Innovation in the United States. Evidence from the Business Research and Development and Innovation Survey, 2008-2011," Working Papers 14-35, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
    5. B. Ebersberger & S. J. Herstad & C. Koller, 2014. "Does the composition of regional knowledge bases influence extra-regional collaboration for innovation?," Applied Economics Letters, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 21(3), pages 201-204, February.
    6. Alarcón, Silverio & Sánchez, Mercedes, 2016. "Is there a virtuous circle relationship between innovation activities and exports? A comparison of food and agricultural firms," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 61(C), pages 70-79.
    7. Nina Bockova, 2015. "Research, Development And Innovations In Czech Manufacture Of Electronic Products," Equilibrium. Quarterly Journal of Economics and Economic Policy, Institute of Economic Research, vol. 10(4), pages 163-180, December.
    8. Herstad, Sverre J. & Aslesen, Heidi Wiig & Ebersberger, Bernd, 2014. "On industrial knowledge bases, commercial opportunities and global innovation network linkages," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 43(3), pages 495-504.

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