Innovative Firms In Friuli Venezia Giulia: A Conjoint Analysis Experiment
The European market is rapidly enlarging towards the Eastern part of the continent. This phenomenon is stimulating the enterprises localized in the North-Eastern part of Italy to innovate their productivity processes and their products in order to preserve their competitiveness in the national and international context.In order to measure the innovation attitude of a sample of firms localized in Friuli Venezia Giulia (an Italian region at the border with Slovenia and Austria) a conjoint analysis experiment has been performed. Conjoint Analysis (CA) is a research methodology employed originally in the marketing field in order to study the customers’ preferences for goods and services. Lately it has been successfully used in transport economics, in ecological economics and in health economics, but it has never been applied to innovation problems before. The objective of this paper, then, is twofold: on the one hand it wants to verify the effectiveness of the CA methodology in testing the firms’ attitude towards innovation processes, and on the other hand it aims at measuring the innovation propensity of the sampled enterprises. During the performed CA experiment the following innovation factors have been analysed: labour force reorganization, research and development activity implementation, typology of research and development to be performed, typology of machinery to be used. On the bases of the responses obtained during the interviews it has been possible to estimate the firms’ intervention priorities over the next 5 years. Moreover it has been possible to verify the usefulness of the CA methodology in describing and predicting the sample attitude toward innovation. The paper is organized as follows: after a brief description of the productivity context characterizing the FVG region, there will be a detailed description of the CA methodology and of the questionnaire used for the research project, the final results will then be commented and some conclusions on the validity on the application of the CA methodology will be drawn.
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