IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/hhs/lucirc/2013_024.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Technological competencies and firm performance: Analyzing the importance of internal and external competencies

Author

Listed:
  • Grillitsch, Markus

    () (CIRCLE, Lund University)

  • Nilsson , Magnus

    () (CIRCLE, Lund University)

Abstract

In this paper, we analyze the relationship between technological competencies (TC) and firm performance. Theoretically, the importance of TC is well established and widely accepted. Therefore, it is surprising that a number of empirical studies have been unable to confirm a substantial positive relationship between TC and firm performance. We identify two major reasons for this: [i] affected by the availability and choice of indicators existing studies are often biased towards large firms; and [ii] they frequently do not consider both internal and potential access to firm-external TC. This paper discusses conceptually the interplay between firm-internal and firm-external TC as well as the mediating effect of firm size. These relationships are then analyzed empirically using Swedish micro data on 15,682 firms in 290 Swedish municipalities. Novel indicators based on occupational statistics are combined with measures of time-distance accessibility to study internal and external TC. The results provide evidence for a positive relationship between firm growth and TC. In particular, the combination of firm-internal and firm-external competencies seems to be conducive for growth. Lastly, our study suggests that firm size is an important factor to further our understanding about these relationships. Based on this we identify a number of future research questions to be addressed.

Suggested Citation

  • Grillitsch, Markus & Nilsson , Magnus, 2013. "Technological competencies and firm performance: Analyzing the importance of internal and external competencies," Papers in Innovation Studies 2013/24, Lund University, CIRCLE - Center for Innovation, Research and Competences in the Learning Economy.
  • Handle: RePEc:hhs:lucirc:2013_024
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://wp.circle.lu.se/upload/CIRCLE/workingpapers/201324_Grillitsch_Nilsson.pdf
    Download Restriction: no

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. David J. TEECE, 2008. "Profiting from technological innovation: Implications for integration, collaboration, licensing and public policy," World Scientific Book Chapters,in: The Transfer And Licensing Of Know-How And Intellectual Property Understanding the Multinational Enterprise in the Modern World, chapter 5, pages 67-87 World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd..
    2. Martin Andersson & Olof Ejermo, 2005. "How does accessibility to knowledge sources affect the innovativeness of corporations?—evidence from Sweden," The Annals of Regional Science, Springer;Western Regional Science Association, vol. 39(4), pages 741-765, December.
    3. Martin Andersson & Charlie Karlsson, 2007. "Knowledge in Regional Economic Growth—The Role of Knowledge Accessibility," Industry and Innovation, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 14(2), pages 129-149.
    4. García-Manjón, Juan V. & Romero-Merino, M. Elena, 2012. "Research, development, and firm growth. Empirical evidence from European top R&D spending firms," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 41(6), pages 1084-1092.
    5. Martin Andersson & Urban Gråsjö, 2009. "Spatial dependence and the representation of space in empirical models," The Annals of Regional Science, Springer;Western Regional Science Association, vol. 43(1), pages 159-180, March.
    6. Zvi Griliches, 1984. "Market Value, R&D, and Patents," NBER Chapters,in: R&D, Patents, and Productivity, pages 249-252 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    7. Adam B. Jaffe & Manuel Trajtenberg & Rebecca Henderson, 1993. "Geographic Localization of Knowledge Spillovers as Evidenced by Patent Citations," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 108(3), pages 577-598.
    8. Asheim, Bjorn T & Isaksen, Arne, 2002. "Regional Innovation Systems: The Integration of Local 'Sticky' and Global 'Ubiquitous' Knowledge," The Journal of Technology Transfer, Springer, vol. 27(1), pages 77-86, January.
    9. repec:fth:harver:1473 is not listed on IDEAS
    10. Glaeser, Edward L., 1999. "Learning in Cities," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 46(2), pages 254-277, September.
    11. Chih-Hai Yang & Chia-Hui Huang, 2005. "R&D, Size and Firm Growth in Taiwan‘s Electronics Industry," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 25(5), pages 477-487, December.
    12. J W Weibull, 1980. "On the Numerical Measurement of Accessibility," Environment and Planning A, , vol. 12(1), pages 53-67, January.
    13. Brouwer, Erik & Kleinknecht, Alfred, 1999. "Innovative output, and a firm's propensity to patent.: An exploration of CIS micro data," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 28(6), pages 615-624, August.
    14. Breschi, Stefano & Lissoni, Francesco, 2001. "Knowledge Spillovers and Local Innovation Systems: A Critical Survey," Industrial and Corporate Change, Oxford University Press, vol. 10(4), pages 975-1005, December.
    15. Zvi Griliches, 1998. "Patent Statistics as Economic Indicators: A Survey," NBER Chapters,in: R&D and Productivity: The Econometric Evidence, pages 287-343 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    16. Paul Geroski & Steve Machin & John Van Reenen, 1993. "The Profitability of Innovating Firms," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 24(2), pages 198-211, Summer.
    17. Anselin, Luc & Varga, Attila & Acs, Zoltan, 1997. "Local Geographic Spillovers between University Research and High Technology Innovations," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 42(3), pages 422-448, November.
    18. Nadine Massard & Caroline Mehier, 2009. "Proximity and Innovation through an 'Accessibility to Knowledge' Lens," Regional Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 43(1), pages 77-88.
    19. 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.
    20. Michael Storper & Anthony J. Venables, 2004. "Buzz: face-to-face contact and the urban economy," Journal of Economic Geography, Oxford University Press, vol. 4(4), pages 351-370, August.
    21. Pakes, Ariel, 1985. "On Patents, R&D, and the Stock Market Rate of Return," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 93(2), pages 390-409, April.
    22. Frank Neffke & Martin Svensson Henning, 2009. "Skill-relatedness and firm diversification," Papers on Economics and Evolution 2009-06, Philipps University Marburg, Department of Geography, revised Oct 2010.
    23. Franz Tödtling & Markus Grillitsch & Christoph Höglinger, 2012. "Knowledge Sourcing and Innovation in Austrian ICT Companies—How Does Geography Matter?," Industry and Innovation, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 19(4), pages 327-348, May.
    24. M. S. Gertler & Y. M. Levitte, 2005. "Local Nodes in Global Networks: The Geography of Knowledge Flows in Biotechnology Innovation," Industry and Innovation, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 12(4), pages 487-507.
    25. Pari Patel & Keith Pavitt, 1991. "Large Firms in the Production of the World’s Technology: An Important Case of “Non-Globalisation”," Journal of International Business Studies, Palgrave Macmillan;Academy of International Business, vol. 22(1), pages 1-21, March.
    26. Ingemar Dierickx & Karel Cool, 1989. "Asset Stock Accumulation and Sustainability of Competitive Advantage," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 35(12), pages 1504-1511, December.
    27. Eric von Hippel, 1994. ""Sticky Information" and the Locus of Problem Solving: Implications for Innovation," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 40(4), pages 429-439, April.
    28. Anders Malmberg & Peter Maskell, 2006. "Localized Learning Revisited," Growth and Change, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 37(1), pages 1-18.
    29. Zvi Griliches, 1998. "Issues in Assessing the Contribution of Research and Development to Productivity Growth," NBER Chapters,in: R&D and Productivity: The Econometric Evidence, pages 17-45 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    30. Meric S. Gertler, 2003. "Tacit knowledge and the economic geography of context, or The undefinable tacitness of being (there)," Journal of Economic Geography, Oxford University Press, vol. 3(1), pages 75-99, January.
    31. Dosi, Giovanni, 1988. "Sources, Procedures, and Microeconomic Effects of Innovation," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 26(3), pages 1120-1171, September.
    32. Scherer, F. M., 1983. "The propensity to patent," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 1(1), pages 107-128, March.
    33. Jacobsson, Staffan & Oskarsson, Christer & Philipson, Joakim, 1996. "Indicators of technological activities -- comparing educational, patent and R & D statistics in the case of Sweden," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 25(4), pages 573-585, June.
    34. Richardson, G B, 1972. "The Organisation of Industry," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 82(327), pages 883-896, September.
    35. Sanchez, Ron & Heene, Aimé, 1997. "Reinventing strategic management: New theory and practice for competence-based competition," European Management Journal, Elsevier, vol. 15(3), pages 303-317, June.
    36. Cantwell, John & Piscitello, Lucia, 2002. "The location of technological activities of MNCs in European regions: The role of spillovers and local competencies," Journal of International Management, Elsevier, vol. 8(1), pages 69-96.
    37. Ron Boschma, 2005. "Proximity and Innovation: A Critical Assessment," Regional Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 39(1), pages 61-74.
    38. Ingemar Dierickx & Karel Cool, 1989. "Asset Stock Accumulation and the Sustainability of Competitive Advantage: Reply," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 35(12), pages 1514-1514, December.
    39. John Cantwell & Felicia Fai, 1999. "Firms as the source of innovation and growth: the evolution of technological competence," Journal of Evolutionary Economics, Springer, vol. 9(3), pages 331-366.
    40. Ash Amin & Patrick Cohendet, 2005. "Geographies of Knowledge Formation in Firms," Industry and Innovation, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 12(4), pages 465-486.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Dorothy M. Kirkman & Shalei V. K. Simms & Dt Ogilvie, 2016. "An Examination Of Cluster And Non-Cluster Firms’ Knowledge-Based Activities," International Journal of Innovation Management (ijim), World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd., vol. 20(08), pages 1-17, December.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    technological competencies; firm performance; accessibility; knowledge; innovation; geography;

    JEL classification:

    • L25 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior - - - Firm Performance
    • O18 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Urban, Rural, Regional, and Transportation Analysis; Housing; Infrastructure
    • O30 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - General

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:hhs:lucirc:2013_024. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Torben Schubert). General contact details of provider: http://edirc.repec.org/data/circlse.html .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.