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Family Firms and Regional Innovation Activity: Evidence from the German Mittelstand

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  • Block, Joern
  • Spiegel, Frank

Abstract

Family firms are important not only for a region but for the economy as a whole. In particular, the long-term orientation and the local embeddedness of family firms suggest a positive effect on regional innovation activity. Yet, despite the widely acknowledged importance of family firms for the economy, little research exists on this issue. This paper analyses the effect of family firms on regional innovation. Using a dataset of 326 German regions, our regressions show that regions with a higher share of family firms also show higher levels of innovation activity, as measured by the number of successful patent applications. The implications of these findings for policy and research are discussed.

Suggested Citation

  • Block, Joern & Spiegel, Frank, 2011. "Family Firms and Regional Innovation Activity: Evidence from the German Mittelstand," MPRA Paper 28604, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  • Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:28604
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Moritz Belling & Ulrich Pidun & Dodo zu Knyphausen-Aufseß, 2021. "Unbundling Strategic Change in Family Firms: the Influence of Familiness on the Strategic Change Process," Schmalenbach Journal of Business Research, Springer, vol. 73(3), pages 381-411, December.
    2. André Pahnke & Friederike Welter, 2019. "The German Mittelstand: antithesis to Silicon Valley entrepreneurship?," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 52(2), pages 345-358, February.
    3. Jennifer Ferreira, 2016. "The German temporary staffing industry: growth, development, scandal and resistance," Industrial Relations Journal, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 47(2), pages 117-143, March.
    4. Heider, Anne & Gerken, Maike & van Dinther, Nicolas & Hülsbeck, Marcel, 2021. "Business model innovation through dynamic capabilities in small and medium enterprises – Evidence from the German Mittelstand," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 130(C), pages 635-645.
    5. Werner, Arndt & Schröder, Christian & Mohr, Benjamin, 2013. "Innovationstätigkeit von Familienunternehmen," IfM-Materialien 225, Institut für Mittelstandsforschung (IfM) Bonn.
    6. Basco, Rodrigo & Suwala, Lech, 2020. "Spatial familiness: a bridge between family business and economic geography," EconStor Open Access Articles and Book Chapters, ZBW - Leibniz Information Centre for Economics, pages 185-212.
    7. Bjuggren, Carl Magnus, 2015. "Sensitivity to shocks and implicit employment protection in family firms," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 119(C), pages 18-31.
    8. Schlömer-Laufen, Nadine & Kay, Rosemarie & Holz, Michael, 2014. "Works councils in family businesses in Germany: Why are there so few?," Working Papers 03/14, Institut für Mittelstandsforschung (IfM) Bonn.
    9. Pahnke, André & Welter, Friederike, 2019. "The German Mittelstand: Antithesis to the Silicon Valley entrepreneurship model?," Working Papers 01/19, Institut für Mittelstandsforschung (IfM) Bonn.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    innovation; family firms; geography; Mittelstand; patents;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • L26 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior - - - Entrepreneurship
    • O3 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights

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