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Managerial Practices, Performance and Innovativeness: Some Evidence from Finnish Manufacturing


  • Koski, Heli
  • Marengo, Luigi
  • Mäkinen, Iiro


Our study aims at shedding light on the organizational mechanisms that produce differences in the firmsŽ innovation performance. We use a survey data collected from 398 Finnish manufacturing firms for the years 2002 and 2005 to empirically explore whether and which organizational factors explain why certain firms produce larger innovative research output than others, and whether the incentives to innovate that certain organizational practices generate differ between the SMEs and large firms, and between those firms that are operating in low-tech and high-tech industries. Our study indicates that one size does not fit all when it comes to the selection of organizational practices creating a business environment that is fruitful for innovation. There are vast differences in the organizational practices leading to more innovation both between the small and large firms, and between the firms that are functioning in high- and low-tech industries. While innovation in the small firms tend to benefit from the practices that enhance employee participation in the decision-making, the large firms that have more decentralized decision-making patterns do not seem to perform better in terms of innovation than those with a more bureaucratic decision-making structure. The most efficient incentive-based compensation means encouraging innovation among the sampled companies seems to be the ownership of a firms stocks by the employees and/or managers. Performance based wages also relates positively to innovation, but only when it is combined with a systematic monitoring of the firmŽs performance.

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  • Koski, Heli & Marengo, Luigi & Mäkinen, Iiro, 2009. "Managerial Practices, Performance and Innovativeness: Some Evidence from Finnish Manufacturing," Discussion Papers 1176, The Research Institute of the Finnish Economy.
  • Handle: RePEc:rif:dpaper:1176

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Sandra E. Black & Lisa M. Lynch, 2004. "What's driving the new economy?: the benefits of workplace innovation," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 114(493), pages 97-116, February.
    2. Holmstrom, Bengt, 1989. "Agency costs and innovation," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 12(3), pages 305-327, December.
    3. Bronwyn H. Hall & Grid Thoma & Salvatore Torrisi, 2006. "The market value of patents and R&D: Evidence from European firms," KITeS Working Papers 186, KITeS, Centre for Knowledge, Internationalization and Technology Studies, Universita' Bocconi, Milano, Italy, revised Nov 2006.
    4. Nicholas Bloom & John Van Reenen, 2007. "Measuring and Explaining Management Practices Across Firms and Countries," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 122(4), pages 1351-1408.
    5. Martin Conyon & Richard B. Freeman, 2004. "Shared Modes of Compensation and Firm Performance U.K. Evidence," NBER Chapters,in: Seeking a Premier Economy: The Economic Effects of British Economic Reforms, 1980-2000, pages 109-146 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. Sandra E. Black & Lisa M. Lynch, 2001. "How To Compete: The Impact Of Workplace Practices And Information Technology On Productivity," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 83(3), pages 434-445, August.
    7. Bessen, James, 2008. "The value of U.S. patents by owner and patent characteristics," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 37(5), pages 932-945, June.
    8. Keld Laursen & Nicolai J. Foss, 2003. "New human resource management practices, complementarities and the impact on innovation performance," Cambridge Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 27(2), pages 243-263, March.
    9. Ester Martinez-Ros & Jose Labeaga, 2002. "The Relationship Between Firm Size and Innovation Activity: A Double Decision Approach," Economics of Innovation and New Technology, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 11(1), pages 35-50.
    10. Takao Kato & Motohiro Morishima, 1995. "The Productivity Effects of Human Resource Management Practices: Evidence from New Japanese Panel Data," Economics Working Paper Archive wp_143, Levy Economics Institute.
    11. Holmstrom, Bengt R. & Tirole, Jean, 1989. "The theory of the firm," Handbook of Industrial Organization,in: R. Schmalensee & R. Willig (ed.), Handbook of Industrial Organization, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 2, pages 61-133 Elsevier.
    12. George Symeonidis, 1996. "Innovation, Firm Size and Market Structure: Schumpeterian Hypotheses and Some New Themes," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 161, OECD Publishing.
    13. Gilbert, Richard J & Newbery, David M G, 1982. "Preemptive Patenting and the Persistence of Monopoly," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 72(3), pages 514-526, June.
    14. Ichniowski, Casey & Shaw, Kathryn & Prennushi, Giovanna, 1997. "The Effects of Human Resource Management Practices on Productivity: A Study of Steel Finishing Lines," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 87(3), pages 291-313, June.
    15. Francis, Jennifer & Smith, Abbie, 1995. "Agency costs and innovation some empirical evidence," Journal of Accounting and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 19(2-3), pages 383-409, April.
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    Cited by:

    1. Koski, Heli, 2012. "The Role of Data and Knowledge in Firms Service and Product Innovation," Discussion Papers 1272, The Research Institute of the Finnish Economy.
    2. repec:wsi:ijimxx:v:16:y:2012:i:01:n:s1363919611003404 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item


    innovation; firm size; organizational practices; HRM practices;

    JEL classification:

    • L25 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior - - - Firm Performance
    • M54 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Personnel Economics - - - Labor Management
    • O31 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Innovation and Invention: Processes and Incentives

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