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SAPPHO Revisited: Factors of Innovation Success in Knowledge-Intensive Enterprises in Central and Eastern Europe

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  • Slavo Radosevic
  • Esin Yoruk

Abstract

This research investigates the mutual and diverging factors for successful and less successful innovations in software and manufacturing of machine tools in Central and Eastern Europe (CEE). We apply univariate and multivariate analyses on 115 indicators by revisiting the seminal SAPPHO project based on the analysis of pairs of innovations and conducted at SPRU – Science and Technology Policy Research during the 1970s. We aim to identify principal factors influencing firm success in innovation in the context of CEE and compare our results to those of SAPPHO and see whether any changes took place during the last 40 years in this context after several decades of globalization. Our initial findings from a database of 90 innovations and 45 pairs of innovations – introduced onto the market during the period 2007-2010 - from 51 CEE enterprises demonstrate that, in particular, user and market-driven factors differentiate successful innovations from less successful ones. Our results fully confirm the continuing relevance of SAPPHO results and methodology. Successful innovators have stronger user orientation and better understanding of market demand. Although, CEECs are catching up economies, continuous and strategic R&D and innovation collaboration is essential to generation of greater commercial success from innovation activities. Given the catching-up character of the CEECs this is surprising result which may reflect knowledge-intensive nature of two sectors which form the basis of our sample. Results of this research clearly demonstrate that orientation of the CEEC innovation policies is inconsistent with the characteristics and behaviour of successful innovators.

Suggested Citation

  • Slavo Radosevic & Esin Yoruk, 2012. "SAPPHO Revisited: Factors of Innovation Success in Knowledge-Intensive Enterprises in Central and Eastern Europe," DRUID Working Papers 12-11, DRUID, Copenhagen Business School, Department of Industrial Economics and Strategy/Aalborg University, Department of Business Studies.
  • Handle: RePEc:aal:abbswp:12-11
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. von Hippel, Eric, 1976. "The dominant role of users in the scientific instrument innovation process," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 5(3), pages 212-239, July.
    2. Von Hippel, Eric, 1978. "A customer-active paradigm for industrial product idea generation," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 7(3), pages 240-266, July.
    3. Eric von Hippel, 1986. "Lead Users: A Source of Novel Product Concepts," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 32(7), pages 791-805, July.
    4. repec:ucp:bkecon:9780226702766 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Hyysalo, Sampsa, 2009. "Learning for learning economy and social learning," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 38(5), pages 726-735, June.
    6. Szakasits, Georges D., 1974. "The adoption of the sappho method in the Hungarian electronics industry," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 3(1), pages 18-28, April.
    7. Von Hippel, Eric A. & Katz, Ralph, 2002. "Shifting Innovation to Users Via Toolkits," Working papers 4232-02, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Sloan School of Management.
    8. Slavo Radosevic, 2006. "Growth, Integration and Spillovers in the Central and East European Software Industry," UCL SSEES Economics and Business working paper series 69, UCL School of Slavonic and East European Studies (SSEES).
    9. Laursen, Keld & Salter, Ammon, 2004. "Searching high and low: what types of firms use universities as a source of innovation?," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 33(8), pages 1201-1215, October.
    10. Rothwell, Roy, 1974. "The `Hungarian sappho': some comments and comparisons," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 3(1), pages 30-38, April.
    11. Ragin, Charles C., 2000. "Fuzzy-Set Social Science," University of Chicago Press Economics Books, University of Chicago Press, edition 1, number 9780226702773, April.
    12. Mowery, David & Rosenberg, Nathan, 1993. "The influence of market demand upon innovation: A critical review of some recent empirical studies," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 22(2), pages 107-108, April.
    13. Rothwell, R & Townsend, J & Teubal, M & Spiller, P, 1977. "Some methodological aspects of innovation research," Omega, Elsevier, vol. 5(4), pages 415-424.
    14. Eric von Hippel & Ralph Katz, 2002. "Shifting Innovation to Users via Toolkits," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 48(7), pages 821-833, July.
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    JEL classification:

    • O32 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Management of Technological Innovation and R&D

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