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External technology supply and client-side innovation

  • Peukert, Christian

Flexibility in response to competitive pressure from globalized markets and increasingly individualized customer desires has become vital for firms. A common strategy to address this challenge is to employ a dynamic concept of organization and reach beyond the boundaries of the firm. Accordingly, technology transfer from providers of knowledge intensive business services attracts more and more attention. In this context we focus on external supply of information technology and client-side innovation. The aim of this paper is to contribute to resolving an empirical puzzle arising from the prior literature. Some authors find beneficial effects of IT outsourcing, others underline that firms often fail to achieve expected strategic goals. Our stylized theoretical model combines a knowledge production function framework and transaction cost economics. We hypothesize that the right balance between internal and external knowledge is critical for innovation. The empirical application is German firm-level data covering a wide range of industries from 2003 to 2006. Our results largely support the theoretical arguments and suggest a positive linear relationship between the level of outsourcing and process innovation. For product innovation we find a hump-shape.

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Paper provided by ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research in its series ZEW Discussion Papers with number 11-082.

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Date of creation: 2011
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Handle: RePEc:zbw:zewdip:11082
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  1. Görg, Holger & Hanley, Aoife, 2009. "Services Outsourcing and Innovation: An Empirical Investigation," IZA Discussion Papers 4404, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  2. Audretsch, David B. & Hülsbeck, Marcel & Lehmann, Erik E., 2010. "Regional competitiveness, university spillovers and entrepreneurial activity," UO Working Papers 02-10, University of Augsburg, Chair of Management and Organization.
  3. Jo Thori Lind & Halvor Mehlum, 2010. "With or Without U? The Appropriate Test for a U-Shaped Relationship," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 72(1), pages 109-118, 02.
  4. Nishaal Gooroochurn & Aoife Hanley, 2006. "A Tale of Two Literatures: Transaction Cost and Property Rights in Innovation Outsourcing," Occasional Papers 17, Industrial Economics Division.
  5. Sascha O. Becker & Peter Egger, 2007. "Endogenous Product versus Process Innovation and a Firm’s Propensity to Export," CESifo Working Paper Series 1906, CESifo Group Munich.
  6. Bauernschuster, Stefan & Falck, Oliver & Heblich, Stephan, 2009. "Training and innovation," Munich Reprints in Economics 20136, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
  7. Antonelli, Cristiano, 2003. "Localized Technological Change," 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 200305, University of Turin.
  8. Caroline Freund & Diana Weinhold, 2002. "The Internet and International Trade in Services," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(2), pages 236-240, May.
  9. Antras, Pol & Helpman, Elhanan, 2004. "Global Sourcing," Scholarly Articles 3196327, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  10. Claudio A. Piga & Marco Vivarelli, 2003. "Internal and External R&D: A Sample Selection Approach," Papers on Entrepreneurship, Growth and Public Policy 2004-05, Max Planck Institute of Economics, Entrepreneurship, Growth and Public Policy Group.
  11. Czarnitzki, Dirk & Spielkamp, Alfred, 2000. "Business services in Germany: bridges for innovation," ZEW Discussion Papers 00-52, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
  12. Ohnemus, Jörg, 2007. "Does IT Outsourcing Increase Firm Success? An Empirical Assessment using Firm-Level Data," ZEW Discussion Papers 07-087, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
  13. Christoph Grimpe & Ulrich Kaiser, 2010. "Balancing Internal and External Knowledge Acquisition: The Gains and Pains from R&D Outsourcing," Journal of Management Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 47(s2), pages 1483-1509, December.
  14. Barras, Richard, 1986. "Towards a theory of innovation in services," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 15(4), pages 161-173, August.
  15. Erik Lehmann & Doris Neuberger & Solvig R”thke, 2004. "Lending to Small and Medium-Sized Firms: Is There an East-West Gap in Germany?," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 23(1), pages 23-39, 08.
  16. repec:hrv:faseco:4784029 is not listed on IDEAS
  17. Tether, Bruce S. & Tajar, Abdelouahid, 2008. "Beyond industry-university links: Sourcing knowledge for innovation from consultants, private research organisations and the public science-base," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 37(6-7), pages 1079-1095, July.
  18. Miozzo, Marcela & Grimshaw, Damian, 2005. "Modularity and innovation in knowledge-intensive business services: IT outsourcing in Germany and the UK," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 34(9), pages 1419-1439, November.
  19. Bertschek, Irene, 1995. "Product and Process Innovation as a Response to Increasing Import and Foreign Direct Investment," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 43(4), pages 341-57, December.
  20. Paul Windrum & Andreas Reinstaller & Christopher Bull, 2009. "The outsourcing productivity paradox: total outsourcing, organisational innovation, and long run productivity growth," Journal of Evolutionary Economics, Springer, vol. 19(2), pages 197-229, April.
  21. Engelstätter, Benjamin & Sarbu, Miruna, 2010. "Enterprise software and service innovation: Standardization versus customization," ZEW Discussion Papers 10-100, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
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