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Complementarity between technology make and buy in innovation strategies: Evidence from Belgiam manufacturing firms

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  • Bruno Cassiman
  • Reinhilde Veugelers

Abstract

This paper characterizes the innovation strategy of manufacturing firms and examines the relation between the innovation strategy and important industry-, firm- and innovation-specific characteristics using Belgian data from the Eurostat Community Innovation Survey. In addition to important size effects explaining innovation, we find that high perceived risks and costs and low appropriability of innovations do not discourage innovation, but rather determine how the innovation sourcing strategy is chosen. With respect to the determinants of the decision of the innovative firm to produce technology itself (Make) or to source technology externally (Buy), we find that small firms are more likely restrict their innovation strategy to an exclusive make or buy strategy, while large firms are more likely to combine both internal and external knowledge acquisition in their innovation strategy. An interesting result that highlights the complementary nature of the Make and Buy decisions, is that, controlled for firm size, companies for which internal information is an important source for innovation are more likely to combine internal and external sources of technology. We find this to be evidence of the fact that in-house R&D generates the necessary absorptive capacity to profit from external knowledge acquisition. Also the effectiveness of different mechanisms to appropriate the benefits of innovations and the internal organizational resistance against change are important determinants of the firm's technology sourcing strategy.

Suggested Citation

  • Bruno Cassiman & Reinhilde Veugelers, 1998. "Complementarity between technology make and buy in innovation strategies: Evidence from Belgiam manufacturing firms," Economics Working Papers 279, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra.
  • Handle: RePEc:upf:upfgen:279
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Jordan, Gary & Segelod, Esbjörn, 2002. "Software Innovativeness - Knowledge Acquisition, External Linkages and Firm Developmental Processes," FE rapport 2002-392, University of Gothenburg, Department of Business Administration.
    2. R Harris & Q Li, "undated". "Exporting, R&D and Absorptive Capacity in UK Establishments: Evidence from the 2001 Community Innovation Survey," Working Papers 2006_19, Business School - Economics, University of Glasgow.
    3. Richard Harris & John Moffat, 2013. "Intangible assets, absorbing knowledge and its impact on firm performance: theory, measurement and policy implications," Contemporary Social Science, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 8(3), pages 346-361, November.
    4. repec:spr:scient:v:44:y:1999:i:3:d:10.1007_bf02458486 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Innovation; research and development; make or buy decision; complementarity;

    JEL classification:

    • L22 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior - - - Firm Organization and Market Structure
    • O32 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Management of Technological Innovation and R&D

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