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The regional embeddedness of small manufacturing and service firms: regional networking as knowledge source for innovation?

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  • Koschatzky, Knut
  • Zenker, Andrea

Abstract

Information and knowledge are important prerequisites for innovation activity in firms. One important means of acquiring coplementary knowledge are innovation networks. Depending on their absortive capacity and knowledge base, firms develop different abilities to access and utilise external knowledge. These abilities might also be linked to firm size. Although size as such is not a decisive criterion for distinguishing between the innovative performance of firms, it can at least be used to classify firms according to common structural characteristics. It is objective of this paper to analyse whether the size of a firm significantly affects its innovative behaviour and cooperation pattern and whether there are differences between manufacturing firms and business-related service firms. Using data from a regional innovation survey carried out in Germany, we come to the conclusion that for structural firm characteristics, innovation strategies, information use and innovation network size matters. Small manufacturing and service firms mainly behave similar and are more regionally orientated in their market reach and knowledge acquisition than large firms- Especially small firms in intermediate and rural areas strongly depend on regionally available knowledge sources and are therefore discriminated compared to large firms which make a more frequent use of knowledge and information sources from outside the region.

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  • Koschatzky, Knut & Zenker, Andrea, 1999. "The regional embeddedness of small manufacturing and service firms: regional networking as knowledge source for innovation?," Working Papers "Firms and Region" R2/1999, Fraunhofer Institute for Systems and Innovation Research (ISI).
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:fisifr:r21999
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    Cited by:

    1. Muller, Emmanuel & Zenker, Andrea, 2001. "Business services as actors of knowledge transformation: the role of KIBS in regional and national innovation systems," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 30(9), pages 1501-1516, December.
    2. Muller, Emmanuel & Zenker, Andrea, 2001. "Business services as actors of knowledge transformation and diffusion: some empirical findings on the role of KIBS in regional and national innovation systems," Working Papers "Firms and Region" R2/2001, Fraunhofer Institute for Systems and Innovation Research (ISI).
    3. Nicoletta Corrocher & Lucia Cusmano & Andrea Morrison, 2009. "Modes of innovation in knowledge-intensive business services evidence from Lombardy," Journal of Evolutionary Economics, Springer, vol. 19(2), pages 173-196, April.
    4. Meng, Rüdiger, 2009. "Standort und Innovation - Innovationsaktivitäten und Forschungskooperationen von Unternehmen aus regionaler Perspektive," Arbeitsmaterial der ARL: Aufsätze,in: Innovationen im Raum - Raum für Innovationen: 11. Junges Forum der ARL, 21. bis 23. Mai 2008 in Berlin, pages 40-52 Akademie für Raumforschung und Landesplanung (ARL) - Leibniz-Forum für Raumwissenschaften.
    5. Koschatzky, Knut & Bross, Ulrike, 1999. "Struktur und Dynamik von regionalen Innovationsnetzwerken unter Transformationsbedingungen - das Beispiel Slowenien," Working Papers "Firms and Region" R4/1999, Fraunhofer Institute for Systems and Innovation Research (ISI).

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