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Product and Process Innovations in Subcontracting: Empirical Evidence from the French “Sillon Alpin”


  • Rachel Bocquet


This paper investigates the role that subcontracting relationships (collaborative outsourcing vs. traditional subcontracting) can have on a subcontractor's ability to innovate in process and product. In order to measure the “full” impact of subcontracting relationships on innovation, we take into account the possible interaction between process and product innovations. The empirical test is based on 93 small firms operating in “pure subcontracting industries”. Using a bivariate probit model, we give evidence that process and product innovations are not independent choices. The test confirms the positive impact of collaborative outsourcing agreement on the subcontractor's probability to innovate whatever the type of innovation. Finally, the results show that process and product innovations are reinforced by different inter-organizational practices and tools as well as distinct absorptive capabilities. This suggests important implications for subcontractors' competitive position.

Suggested Citation

  • Rachel Bocquet, 2011. "Product and Process Innovations in Subcontracting: Empirical Evidence from the French “Sillon Alpin”," Industry and Innovation, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 18(7), pages 649-668, October.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:indinn:v:18:y:2011:i:7:p:649-668
    DOI: 10.1080/13662716.2011.604471

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Andersen, Poul Houman, 1999. "Organizing international technological collaboration in subcontractor relationships: an investigation of the knowledge-stickiness problem," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 28(6), pages 625-642, August.
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    1. repec:hal:journl:hal-00918528 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Bocquet, Rachel & Le Bas, Christian & Mothe, Caroline & Poussing, Nicolas, 2013. "Are firms with different CSR profiles equally innovative? Empirical analysis with survey data," European Management Journal, Elsevier, vol. 31(6), pages 642-654.

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