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The Role of External Knowledge in the Introduction of Product and Process Innovations

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Abstract

This paper contributes a novel approach to appreciating the role of external knowledge in the innovative process based upon the notion of knowledge generation function. In so doing this paper impinges upon the rich literature on spillovers and yet introduces a sharp discontinuity that highlights the role of external knowledge as a necessary and costly input into the generation of new technological knowledge. It attempts to identify the contribution of external knowledge directly to the generation of technological innovations and to explore the matching between kinds of technological innovations that are introduced according to its sources. This approach enables to avoid the systematic confusion between the effects of external knowledge upon knowledge exploitation and its effects on knowledge generation and is able to assess more directly and specifically the role of horizontal and vertical flows of external knowledge on both the rate and the direction of introduction of new technologies. The results of the empirical investigations confirm that external knowledge is a crucial input into the generation of new technological knowledge and in the eventual exploitation to introduce technological innovations. Moreover it shows that external knowledge generated by upstream suppliers and flowing vertically, embodied in capital goods, within interindustrial filieres, plays a strong and positive role on the introduction of process innovations, while external knowledge that flows horizontally from competitors has stronger effects on the introduction of product innovations

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  • Antonelli Cristiano & Fassio Claudio, 2011. "The Role of External Knowledge in the Introduction of Product and Process Innovations," Department of Economics and Statistics Cognetti de Martiis LEI & BRICK - Laboratory of Economics of Innovation "Franco Momigliano", Bureau of Research in Innovation, Complexity and Knowledge, Collegio 201101, University of Turin.
  • Handle: RePEc:uto:labeco:201101
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    1. Crepon, B. & Duguet, E. & Mairesse, J., 1998. "Research Investment, Innovation and Productivity: An Econometric Analysis at the Firm Level," Papiers d'Economie Mathématique et Applications 98.15, Université Panthéon-Sorbonne (Paris 1).
    2. Jaider Vega-Jurado & Antonio Gutiérrez-Gracia & Ignacio Fernández-de-Lucio, 2009. "Does external knowledge sourcing matter for innovation? Evidence from the Spanish manufacturing industry," Industrial and Corporate Change, Oxford University Press, vol. 18(4), pages 637-670, August.
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    Cited by:

    1. Fassio, Claudio, 2014. "Sectoral Systems or Distance-to-the-Frontier Effects in Innovation? A Comparison of Three Medium-Technology Sectors in Germany, Italy and Spain," SEP Working Papers 2014/3, LUISS School of European Political Economy.
    2. Stoetzer, Matthias-Wolfgang & Pfeil, Silko & Kaps, Katharina & Sauer, Thomas, 2011. "Regional dispersion of cooperation activities as success factor of innovation oriented SME," Jena Contributions to Economic Research 2011,4, University of Applied Sciences Jena, Department of Business Administration.
    3. Link, Albert N. & Antonelli, Cristiano, 2015. "Strategic Alliances: An Introductory Framework," Department of Economics and Statistics Cognetti de Martiis LEI & BRICK - Laboratory of Economics of Innovation "Franco Momigliano", Bureau of Research in Innovation, Complexity and Knowledge, Collegio 201511, University of Turin.

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