Management characteristics, collaboration and innovative efficiency: evidence from UK survey data
This paper explores the impact of management characteristics and patterns of collaboration on a firmÕs innovation performance in transforming innovation resources into commercially successful outputs. These questions are investigated using a recent firm level survey database for 465 innovative British small and medium enterprises (SMEs) over the years 1998-2001. Both Data Envelopment Analysis (DEA) and Stochastic Frontier Analysis (SFA) are employed to benchmark a firmÕs innovative efficiency against best practice. Quality and the variety of innovations are taken into account by combining Principal Component Analysis (PCA) with DEA. We find evidence suggesting that the innovative efficiency of SMEs is significantly affected by their management characteristics and collaboration behaviour. Collaboration, organisational flexibility, formality in management systems and incentive schemes are found to contribute significantly to a firmÕs innovative efficiency. Managerial share-ownership also shows some positive effect. The importance of these effects, however, varies across different sectors. WE find that innovative efficiency in high-tech SMEs is significantly enhanced by collaboration, formal management structure and training; and that in medium- and low-tech SMEs is significantly associated with managerial ownership, incentive schemes and organisational flexibility.
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