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Impediments to innovation faced by Canadian manufacturing firms


  • Dominique Tourigny
  • Can Le


Using the findings of the 1999 Survey of Innovation in the Canadian manufacturing sector, we analyse the impediments, i.e. the problems and obstacles, that firms in the sector face when they innovate. In particular, we assess the factors which inhibit innovation, especially with regard to by small and medium enterprises (SMEs). First we try to establish the relationship between the impediments to innovation and various firm characteristics. Then we assess whether these impediments actually prevent firms from innovating or whether firms are able to overcome them. We find that the perception of impediments to innovation vary according to firm characteristics. For example, large firms are more likely to report the high cost of developing innovation and organizational rigidities as impediments than small firms. However, they seem to have less difficulty with regard to financing innovation projects compared to SMEs. Our results also show that firms seem to be able to overcome most of the obstacles to innovation. Therefore, the impediments featured in innovation survey(s) should not be interpreted as impenetrable barriers that prevent innovation. The sole exception is organizational rigidities. Firms facing organizational rigidities are less likely to become innovative, whether they are small, medium, or large. From our results, we conclude that small firms do not face particular impediments which prevent them from becoming innovative.

Suggested Citation

  • Dominique Tourigny & Can Le, 2004. "Impediments to innovation faced by Canadian manufacturing firms," Economics of Innovation and New Technology, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 13(3), pages 217-250.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:ecinnt:v:13:y:2004:i:3:p:217-250 DOI: 10.1080/10438590410001628387

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Sabourin, David, 2001. "Skill Shortages and Advanced Technology Adoption," Analytical Studies Branch Research Paper Series 2001175e, Statistics Canada, Analytical Studies Branch.
    2. Baldwin, John & Lin, Zhengxi, 2002. "Impediments to advanced technology adoption for Canadian manufacturers," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 31(1), pages 1-18, January.
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    Cited by:

    1. Pellegrino, Gabriele & Savona, Maria, 2013. "Is money all? Financing versus knowledge and demand constraints to innovation," MERIT Working Papers 029, United Nations University - Maastricht Economic and Social Research Institute on Innovation and Technology (MERIT).
    2. Marin,Giovanni & Marzucchi,Alberto & Zoboli,Roberto, 2014. "SMEs and Barriers to Eco-Innovation in EU: A Diverse Palette of Greens," INGENIO (CSIC-UPV) Working Paper Series 201404, INGENIO (CSIC-UPV).
    3. Kiss, János, 2014. "Az innováció hatása a vállalati teljesítményre és versenyképességre
      [The impact of innovation activities on firms performance and competitiveness]
      ," Közgazdasági Szemle (Economic Review - monthly of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences), Közgazdasági Szemle Alapítvány (Economic Review Foundation), vol. 0(3), pages 299-314.
    4. Simona Iammarino & Francesca Sanna-Randaccio & Maria Savona, 2007. "The perception of obstacles to innovation. Multinational and domestic firms in Italy," Working Papers of BETA 2007-12, Bureau d'Economie Théorique et Appliquée, UDS, Strasbourg.
    5. D'Este,Pablo & Rentocchini,Francesco & Vega Jurado,Jaider M., 2012. "The role of human capital in lowering barriers to engage in innovation: evidence from the Spanish innovation survey," INGENIO (CSIC-UPV) Working Paper Series 201206, INGENIO (CSIC-UPV), revised 03 Aug 2012.
    6. Luisa Gagliardi & Simona Iammarino, 2017. "Innovation in risky markets. Multinational and domestic firms in the UK regions," Working Papers 37, Birkbeck Centre for Innovation Management Research, revised Mar 2017.
    7. Maria Manuela Natário & João Pedro Couto & Ascensão Maria Braga & Teresa Maria Tiago, 2011. "Dynamics of innovation in European regions," ERSA conference papers ersa11p466, European Regional Science Association.
    8. D’Este, Pablo & Iammarino, Simona & Savona, Maria & von Tunzelmann, Nick, 2012. "What hampers innovation? Revealed barriers versus deterring barriers," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 41(2), pages 482-488.
    9. Silva, Maria & Leitão, João & Raposo, Mário, 2007. "Barriers to Innovation faced by Manufacturing Firms in Portugal: How to overcome it?," MPRA Paper 5408, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    10. Mohieddine Rahmouni, 2014. "Perception des obstacles aux activités d'innovation dans les entreprises tunisiennes," Revue d’économie du développement, De Boeck Université, vol. 22(3), pages 69-98.
    11. repec:eee:respol:v:46:y:2017:i:7:p:1327-1339 is not listed on IDEAS
    12. Pellegrino, Gabriele & Savona, Maria, 2017. "No money, no honey? Financial versus knowledge and demand constraints on innovation," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 46(2), pages 510-521.
    13. Pablo D'Este & Simona Iammarino & Maria Savona & Nick von Tunzelmann, 2008. "What hampers innovation? Evidence from the UK CIS4," SPRU Working Paper Series 168, SPRU - Science and Technology Policy Research, University of Sussex.
    14. Claudia Ghisetti & Massimiliano Mazzanti & Susanna Mancinelli & Mariangela Zoli, 2015. "Do financial constraints make the environment worse off? Understanding the effects of financial barriers on environmental innovations," SEEDS Working Papers 0115, SEEDS, Sustainability Environmental Economics and Dynamics Studies, revised Jan 2015.
    15. Mirza Abdullah & Suhaiza Zailani & Mohammad Iranmanesh & K. Jayaraman, 2016. "Barriers to green innovation initiatives among manufacturers: the Malaysian case," Review of Managerial Science, Springer, vol. 10(4), pages 683-709, October.
    16. Giovanni Marin & Alberto Marzucchi & Roberto Zoboli, 2015. "SMEs and barriers to Eco-innovation in the EU: exploring different firm profiles," Journal of Evolutionary Economics, Springer, vol. 25(3), pages 671-705, July.
    17. Amara, Nabil & D'Este, Pablo & Landry, Réjean & Doloreux, David, 2016. "Impacts of obstacles on innovation patterns in KIBS firms," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 69(10), pages 4065-4073.

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