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A Statistical Analysis of Corporate Technological Leadership Historically

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  • John Cantwell
  • Birgitte Andersen

Abstract

This paper examines statistically the dispersion of corporate technological leadership in sectors of rapid development historically. The evidence provided is based on the US patenting of 284 of the largest American and European industrial firms since 1890. It is shown that the diffusion of innovation to followers that are 'catching up' in a sector of activity is associated with an especially rapid rate of overall development in that field; that is, the rate of catching up is positively related to the rate of advance. However, during such phases of fast growth leaders tend to preserve at least some elements of their leading position. It is only over longer historical periods that the actual composition of leadership in a sector tends to shift more significantly.

Suggested Citation

  • John Cantwell & Birgitte Andersen, 1996. "A Statistical Analysis of Corporate Technological Leadership Historically," Economics of Innovation and New Technology, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 4(3), pages 211-234.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:ecinnt:v:4:y:1996:i:3:p:211-234
    DOI: 10.1080/10438599600000010
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Vertova, Giovanna, 2002. "A historical investigation of the geography of innovative activities," Structural Change and Economic Dynamics, Elsevier, vol. 13(3), pages 259-283, September.
    2. Martin Andersson & Hans Lˆˆf, 2009. "Learning-by-Exporting Revisited: The Role of Intensity and Persistence," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 111(4), pages 893-916, December.
    3. Davide Castellani & Maria Mancusi & Grazia Santangelo & Antonello Zanfei, 2015. "Exploring the links between offshoring and innovation," Economia e Politica Industriale: Journal of Industrial and Business Economics, Springer;Associazione Amici di Economia e Politica Industriale, vol. 42(1), pages 1-7, March.
    4. Sandro Montresor & Antonio Vezzani, 2015. "On the R&D giants’ shoulders: do FDI help to stand on them?," Economia e Politica Industriale: Journal of Industrial and Business Economics, Springer;Associazione Amici di Economia e Politica Industriale, vol. 42(1), pages 33-60, March.
    5. Lall, Sanjaya, 2003. "Indicators of the relative importance of IPRs in developing countries," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 32(9), pages 1657-1680, October.
    6. Lorenz, Steffi, 2015. "Diversität und Verbundenheit der unternehmerischen Wissensbasis: Ein neuartiger Messansatz mit Indikatoren aus Innovationsprojekten," Discussion Papers on Strategy and Innovation 15-01, Philipps-University Marburg, Department of Technology and Innovation Management (TIM).
    7. Andre Jungmittag, 2004. "Innovations, technological specialisation and economic growth in the EU," International Economics and Economic Policy, Springer, vol. 1(2), pages 247-273, January.
    8. Lee, Chang-Yang, 2010. "A theory of firm growth: Learning capability, knowledge threshold, and patterns of growth," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 39(2), pages 278-289, March.
    9. Andersen, Birgitte, 1998. "The evolution of technological trajectories 1890-1990," Structural Change and Economic Dynamics, Elsevier, vol. 9(1), pages 5-34, March.
    10. Krammer, Sorin M.S., 2016. "The role of diversification profiles and dyadic characteristics in the formation of technological alliances: Differences between exploitation and exploration in a low-tech industry," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 45(2), pages 517-532.
    11. Laursen, Keld, 1999. "The impact of technological opportunity on the dynamics of trade performance," Structural Change and Economic Dynamics, Elsevier, vol. 10(3-4), pages 341-357, December.
    12. Breschi, Stefano & Lissoni, Francesco & Malerba, Franco, 2003. "Knowledge-relatedness in firm technological diversification," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 32(1), pages 69-87, January.
    13. Cantwell, John & Santangelo, Grazia D., 1999. "The frontier of international technology networks: sourcing abroad the most highly tacit capabilities," Information Economics and Policy, Elsevier, vol. 11(1), pages 101-123, March.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Technological leadership; diffusion; patents; history of technology; Schumpeter J.E.L. Classification: 030; 033; L11; C21;

    JEL classification:

    • L11 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Production, Pricing, and Market Structure; Size Distribution of Firms
    • C21 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Single Equation Models; Single Variables - - - Cross-Sectional Models; Spatial Models; Treatment Effect Models

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