nep-ino New Economics Papers
on Innovation
Issue of 2005‒07‒11
eleven papers chosen by
Koen Frenken
Universiteit Utrecht

  1. ICT and the location of call centres: regional and local patterns By Beekman,. Michiel; Bruinsma, Frank; Rietveld, Piet
  2. Effectiveness of Innovation Leadership Styles: A Manager's Influence on Ecological Innovation in Construction Projects By Bossink, Bart A.G.
  3. Exploring service development for understanding Schumpeterian innovation in service firms: the deduction of special case criteria By Flikkema, Meindert
  4. Use of Patent Information : Empirical Evidence from Innovative SMEs By Masurel, Enno
  5. Uitbesteden en innovatie in de bouw: Het toenemend belang van de regie- en handelsfunctie By Butter, F.A.G. den; Megchelen, O.K. van
  6. Persistence and ability in the innovation decisions By José M. Labeaga, Ester Martínez Ros; Ester Martínez Ros
  7. Polluting emissions standards and clean technology trajectories under competitive selection and supply chain pressure By Maïder SAINT-JEAN (E3i, IFReDE-GRES)
  8. Finding commercially attractive user innovations: A test of lead user theory By Franke, Nikolaus; von Hippel, Eric; Schreier, Martin
  9. Enhancing self-efficacy to enable entrepreneurship: The case of CMI€ٳ Connections By Lucas, William A.; Cooper, Sarah Y.
  10. Universities as sources of knowledge for innovation.The case of Technology Intensive Firms in Portugal By Joana Costa; Aurora A. C. Teixeira
  11. Innovation strategies in the presence of technology markets: evidence from Spanish innovative firms By Arbussà, Anna; Coenders, Germà

  1. By: Beekman,. Michiel (Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, Faculteit der Economische Wetenschappen en Econometrie (Free University Amsterdam, Faculty of Economics Sciences, Business Administration and Economitrics); Bruinsma, Frank; Rietveld, Piet
    Abstract: One of the sectors that gained most of the boost in ICT developments is the call centres sector. The focus in this paper is on spatial diffusion patterns of call centres in the Netherlands. The number of call centres has increased rapidly in the last decade and it seems that impacts of call centres on the labour market are still underestimated. We will pay attention to two spatial levels: first, regional and second, local. Given the labour intensity and quality required by call centres and the absence of physical contacts with consumers one might expect that most call centres are located in the more peripheral regions of the country. In those peripheral regions there is less pressure on the labour market and the level of education - in particular the ability to speak English is almost as good as elsewhere in the country. At the local level we are interested in the precise location of the call centres. We expect that they will prefer back office locations or even locations on cheap industrial sites, again due to the absence of physical contacts with consumers. They only will need enough parking space for their employees, since this is a relatively labour intensive economic activity. In this exploratory study we will analyze the spatial diffusion patterns of call centres in the Netherlands and link them to regional labour market developments and other location factors.
    Keywords: call centres; Netherlands; spatial diffusion patterns; labour market; ICT
    Date: 2004
  2. By: Bossink, Bart A.G. (Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, Faculteit der Economische Wetenschappen en Econometrie (Free University Amsterdam, Faculty of Economics Sciences, Business Administration and Economitrics)
    Abstract: This article presents four basic innovation leadership styles: charismatic, instrumental, strategic and interactive innovation leadership. The leadership styles and their characteristics relate to process and product innovations in construction projects. A theoretical framework - which synthesizes these relations enables explorative research into the effects of leadership on organizational innovativeness. Four case studies, observing the same manager in four comparable projects, explore the effects of each leadership style on a construction project's innovativeness in ecological terms. On an analytical level the case study explorations indicate that a manager's consistent performance of a leadership style stimulates the project's ecological innovativeness when the manager also injects the project with ecological information, knowledge and competence. It also indicates that a manager's consistent performance of a leadership style, without an injection of information, knowledge and competence in the project, doesn't stimulate the project's ecological innovativeness.
    Keywords: construction; innovation; leadership; management; projects
    Date: 2004
  3. By: Flikkema, Meindert (Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, Faculteit der Economische Wetenschappen en Econometrie (Free University Amsterdam, Faculty of Economics Sciences, Business Administration and Economitrics)
    Abstract: The identification of innovation in services is problematic. This seems remarkable, since many papers have emerged, which emphasize distinctive features of service innovation. However, some of these contributions strain the Schumpeterian innovation opinion or describe in fact the role of service firms in systems of innovation. In the present paper service innovation is concerned as a special case of service development and a direct reference to Schumpeter is made as Drejer proposes (Drejer, I., 2004. Identifying innovation in surveys of services: a Schumpeterian perspective. Research Policy 33, 551-562). With the deduction of 'special case criteria' the paper contributes to tackling the identification problem.
    Keywords: service innovation; service development; Schumpeter
    JEL: O31
    Date: 2005
  4. By: Masurel, Enno (Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, Faculteit der Economische Wetenschappen en Econometrie (Free University Amsterdam, Faculty of Economics Sciences, Business Administration and Economitrics)
    Abstract: This paper discusses the use of patent information by innovative SMEs. The standard literature tends to focus on obtaining patents; studies of using patent information for different purposes are underrepresented in the innovation literature. Studying the case of SMEs is especially interesting, because they often do not have in-house specialists dealing with patent issues. Our research reveals that the most important reasons why SMEs do not use patent information are: (i) costs; (ii) unclear procedures. These constraints may be tackled by improving the communication on the usefulness of patent information, improving access to patent information, and integrating more lessons on using patent and patent information in education. Given that using patent information is useful for SMEs, its use should be promoted. The key players in this respect are NIPO (the Dutch organization responsible for patents and patent information), trade associations, and educational institutions.
    Keywords: SMEs; entrepreneurship; innovation; patents; patent information
    JEL: O34
    Date: 2005
  5. By: Butter, F.A.G. den (Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, Faculteit der Economische Wetenschappen en Econometrie (Free University Amsterdam, Faculty of Economics Sciences, Business Administration and Economitrics); Megchelen, O.K. van
    Abstract: De verplaatsing en outsorcing van productie vormt een actueel thema in het huidige beleidsdebat (zie b.v. Gorter, Tang en Toet, 2005). In feite is er niets nieuws onder de zon, maar is dit gewoonweg het gevolg van de voortgaande internationale specialisatie die bijdraagt tot een toename van de (arbeids)productiviteit en dus tot de economische groei. Dit artikel laat zien dat ook binnenlands, in de bouw, het gebruik is om steeds meer werk via onderaannemers uit te besteden. Zo daalde het eigen werk in de omzet van b&u bedrijven in 10 jaar tijd met ongeveer 16%, en in de gww met 20%. Het kaderpersoneel in de bouw, dat voor een belangrijk deel bij de regievoering en uitbesteding betrokken is, nam in de periode 1990-2001 met 80% toe. Deze verschuiving vergt wel dat het management zich bewust wordt van het belang van de regie- en handelsfunctie.
    Keywords: outsourcing; innovation; management; building industry
    Date: 2005
  6. By: José M. Labeaga, Ester Martínez Ros; Ester Martínez Ros
    Abstract: This paper explores the effect of persistence and manager ability in the decision to conduct product and process innovations. Managers make strategic decisions about the implementation of a better innovation activity in order to improve their firm’s performance in the market. Many empirical studies have analysed the determinants of the innovation process, but few have considered the effect of experience (the firm’s capacities and routines of organization) and the manager’s ability (skills and capability) as relevant elements. Our aim is to demonstrate the importance of these elements using typical discrete-choice specifications and binary choice models with heterogeneity. We do so in an extensive database that provides information about Spanish manufacturing firms. Our message is that persistence, however measured, is the main determinant of any innovation activity. The experience effect is important in both product and process innovation decisions but the results differ in degree: The experience gained from engaging in process innovations appears to increase the probability of process innovation success, whereas the experience gained from product innovation activity, although important, leaves place to other factors determining product innovation success. Once a firm has a commitment to innovation activity, develops some innovation routines, and learns about the innovation process, it reaches a turning point at which other factors play a less prominent role.
  7. By: Maïder SAINT-JEAN (E3i, IFReDE-GRES)
    Abstract: Based on a model of industrial dynamics, this paper examines the impact of polluting emissions standards on trajectories of clean technologies implemented by firms subject to competitive selection and supply chain pressure. The model incorporates a few stylised facts on the relationships between environmental regulation, innovation and diffusion. The main objective is to highlight the forces influencing the long term dynamics of an industry faced with evolving emissions standards in a ‘history-friendly’ way. The paper gives guidance to the conditions of dynamic efficiency of emissions standards taking into account the coevolution of technology, user requirements and market structure. We show that emission standards not only play a significant role in orienting research and innovation activities of supplier firms, but they are also likely to support the diffusion of environmental innovation in the supply chain. In some cases, emission standards lead to prevent both a situation of lock-in on the supply side and a situation of behavioural inertia on the user side. Standards may thus lead to preserve a certain form of technological and behavioural diversity. Based on the computer simulations, it will be shown that the efficiency of standards depends on the nature of performance standards (process or product), on the market structure and on the timing of intervention.
    Keywords: environmental innovation; industrial dynamics; environmental supply chain pressure; emission standards
    JEL: O33 Q55 Q58
    Date: 2005
  8. By: Franke, Nikolaus; von Hippel, Eric; Schreier, Martin
    Abstract: Firms and governments are increasingly interested in learning to exploit the value of lead user innovations for commercial advantage. Improvements to lead user theory are needed to inform and guide these efforts. In this paper we empirically test and confirm the basic tenants of lead user theory. We also discover some new refinements and related practical applications. Using a sample of users and user-innovators drawn from the extreme sport of kite surfing, we analyze the relationship between the commercial attractiveness of innovations developed by users and the intensity of the lead user characteristics those users display. We provide a first empirical analysis of the independent effects of its two key component variables. In our empirical study of user modifications to kite surfing equipment, we find that both components independently contribute to identifying commercially attractive user innovations. Component 1 (the "high expected benefits" dimension) predicts innovation likelihood, and component 2 (the "ahead of the trend" dimension) predicts both the commercial attractiveness of a given set of user-developed innovations and innovation likelihood due to a newly-proposed innovation supply side effect. We conclude that the component variables in the lead user definition are indeed independent dimensions and so neither can be dropped without loss of information - an important matter for lead user theory. We also find that adding measures of users' local resources can improve the ability of the lead user construct to identify commercially-attractive innovations under some conditions. The findings we report have practical as well as theoretical import. Product modification and development has been found to be a relatively common user behavior in many fields. Thus, from 10% to nearly 40% of users report having modified or developed a product for in-house use in the case of industrial products, or for personal use in the case of consumer products, in fields sampled to date. As a practical matter, therefore, it is important to find ways to selectively identify the user innovations that manufacturers will find to be the basis for commercially attractive products in the collectivity of user-developed innovations. We discuss the implications of these findings for theory and also for practical applications of the lead user construct, i.e. how variables used in lead user studies can profitably be adapted to fit specific study contexts and purposes.
    Keywords: Lead User Theory,
    Date: 2005–06–03
  9. By: Lucas, William A.; Cooper, Sarah Y.
    Abstract: Enhancing levels of innovation and entrepreneurship to grow a more competitive economy is the focus of much government effort. Attention is paid to changing a culture seen as antagonistic to entrepreneurship through initiatives designed to promote an entrepreneurial spirit. Universities, aware of the importance of developing entrepreneurial potential, are focusing on equipping students with the skills and abilities to contribute to innovation within organisations they join upon graduation, while also providing opportunities for the development of student aspirations. Cambridge-MIT Institute (CMI) has developed a one week event designed to influence deep personal values and the underlying motivations of potential entrepreneurs. This paper reports on the Connections course content as it was offered at the University of Strathclyde in 2003, content premised on the belief that students are motivated to start new enterprises through enhancement of self-confidence in their entrepreneurial skills. Measures of entrepreneurial self-efficacy and other outcomes are offered, followed by a report of the results found at the end of the event and then six months later. The programme is found to have created enduring improvements in entrepreneurial self-efficacy, and a related strengthening of pre-entrepreneurial awareness and exploration of ideas for starting companies. Other assessment results are presented suggesting the need to include explicit course content on entrepreneurial career paths. The implications of the Connections findings for entrepreneurship teaching in general are discussed.
    Keywords: entrepreneurship, innovation, entrepreneurial self-efficacy,
    Date: 2005–07–08
  10. By: Joana Costa (Faculdade de Economia, Universidade do Porto); Aurora A. C. Teixeira (CEMPRE, Faculdade de Economia, Universidade do Porto)
    Abstract: Within a debatable framework of ‘natural replication’ of well-succeeded cases such as the Silicon Valley, Route 128, OECD countries have been implementing policy measures directed to the stimulation of the development of regional clusters composed by Technology-Intensive Firms (TIF) around universities believing that this would increase economic returns from public research investment thereby fostering regional economic development. That is because knowledge-based goods and services are highly valuated by consumers and the TIF can increase the rate of innovation in the economy as a whole. Thus, the creation of science parks, the support of business incubators, seed capital, specific supports for the development of joint R&D projects are sponsored by public authorities as an effort to link universities to industrial innovation. This investigation tries an empirical answer to the following questions: 1) Are universities important as source of information and knowledge use for TIF innovation activities?; 2) How relevant are universities for the location decisions of TIF?; Is TIF’s human capital composition a relevant variable for strengthening university-TIF linkages and thus contributing for enhancing regional innovation capabilities? Based on survey data of Portuguese TIF (composed by 425 firms from a total of 728 that reported having performed R&D activities in 2001-2003), and contrasting with Community Innovation Survey (CIS) related evidence, we conclude that university is critical to these firms innovative activities being therefore likely to substantially and positively impact on regional knowledge network flows and density. The evidence collected shows therefore an unequivocal support for public policies measures targeting TIF as innovation leverages and regional boosters.
    Keywords: technology intensive firms, universities linkages, Portugal
    JEL: O31 O32 O38 C25
    Date: 2005–07
  11. By: Arbussà, Anna; Coenders, Germà
    Abstract: The development of markets for technology has eased the acquisition of technology and reshaped the innovation strategies of firms that we classify as producers of innovations or as imitators. Innovative activities of firms include research, acquisition of technology and downstream activities. Within an industry, firms producing innovations tend to conduct more research and downstream activities than those imitating innovations. Acquisition of technology is equally important for both. To implement innovation strategies, firms producing innovations require both the capability to scan the external environment for technology and the capability to integrate new technology. Firms producing innovations require both, while firms imitating innovations require scan capabilities only.
    Keywords: Innovation; R&D; technology acquisition; appropriability; absorptive capacity
    JEL: L22 O32
    Date: 2005–07

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