Competencies Driving Innovative Performance of Slovenian and Croatian Manufacturing Firms
The paper discusses the innovative performance of firms and underlying competencies, namely technological, marketing and complementary. Competencies as a broader concept are regarded as networks of capabilities and other firm assets, and can be used for cross-industry comparisons. The study is based on a survey carried out among 86 established Slovenian and Croatian manufacturing companies addressing competencies which they employ in their 105 distinct product lines. Three distinct segments of firms are established based on innovative performance indicators. We used the techniques of multivariate statistics, including cluster analysis and the analysis of variance. The results imply that the most innovative firms simultaneously develop technological, marketing and complementary competencies. They operate in industries in which new technologies offer considerable new opportunities. Weaker technological competencies can be to some extent compensated by strong marketing and complementary competencies. The findings also support the notion of Slovenia and Croatia being technology follower economies, primarily relying on imitation as a source of innovation.
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