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Specialized search and innovation performance: evidence across Europe

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  • Sofka, Wolfgang
  • Grimpe, Christoph

Abstract

Searching for external knowledge has frequently been characterized as crucial for firm success. However, little is known about how the direction of search strategies influences innovation performance. In this paper, we argue that firms need to specialize their search strategy and that its effectiveness is moderated by R&D investments and potential knowledge spillovers from a firm's environment. Based on a sample of more than 5,000 firms from five European countries, our results show that being open for innovation generally pays off. However, both moderating factors have a crucial role to play: On the one hand, in-house R&D investments are most effective when combined with a market-oriented search strategy. On the other hand, a technologically advanced environment requires firms to reach out to scientific knowledge sources in order to access novel knowledge and to enhance innovation performance. We develop targeted management recommendations based on these results.

Suggested Citation

  • Sofka, Wolfgang & Grimpe, Christoph, 2009. "Specialized search and innovation performance: evidence across Europe," ZEW Discussion Papers 09-016, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:zewdip:09016
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Aldieri, Luigi & Vinci, Concetto Paolo, 2015. "R&D Migration: a cross-national analysis," MPRA Paper 62541, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    2. Małgorzata Stefania Lewandowska, 2014. "Innowacje otwarte polskich przedsiębiorstw," Gospodarka Narodowa, Warsaw School of Economics, issue 2, pages 53-80.
    3. Köhler, Christian & Sofka, Wolfgang & Grimpe, Christoph, 2012. "Selective search, sectoral patterns, and the impact on product innovation performance," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 41(8), pages 1344-1356.
    4. Martin Backfisch, 2014. "Search Balance and Product and Process Innovations," MAGKS Papers on Economics 201461, Philipps-Universität Marburg, Faculty of Business Administration and Economics, Department of Economics (Volkswirtschaftliche Abteilung).
    5. Cosh, A. & Zhang, J., 2012. "Variety of Search and Innovation: A Comparative Study of US Manufacturing and Knowledge Intensive Business Services Sectors," Working Papers wp431, Centre for Business Research, University of Cambridge.
    6. Du, Jingshu & Leten, Bart & Vanhaverbeke, Wim, 2014. "Managing open innovation projects with science-based and market-based partners," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 43(5), pages 828-840.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Open innovation; search strategies; innovation management;

    JEL classification:

    • L60 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Manufacturing - - - General
    • 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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