nep-sbm New Economics Papers
on Small Business Management
Issue of 2010‒12‒18
fourteen papers chosen by
Joao Carlos Correia Leitao
University of Beira Interior and Technical University of Lisbon

  1. Entrepreneurship education in Italian universities: trend, situation and opportunities By Donato Iacobucci; Alessandra Micozzi
  2. How Do Different Motives for R&D Investment in Foreign Locations Affect Domestic Firm Performance? An Analysis Based on Swiss Panel Micro Data By Spyros Arvanitis; Heinz Hollenstein
  3. Do cooperative R&D subsidies stimulate regional innovation efficiency? Evidence from Germany By Tom Broekel
  4. What Determines the Innovation Capability of Firm Founders? By Spyros Arvanitis; Tobias Stucki
  5. Backward linkages and the export;performance of business services.;Evidence from a sample of Italian firms By Giuliano CONTI; Alessia LO TURCO; Daniela MAGGIONI
  6. Insights into the Determinants of Innovation of Energy Efficiency By Marius Ley
  7. The University as a knowledge reservoir - the comparative study of bussines and engineering undergraduate students' profile of the Federal University of Goiás (UFG) By Paula Andréa Marques do Valle; Dnilson Carlos Dias
  8. Analysing the Employability of Business and Administration Study Programs in Portugal By Aurora Galego; Margarida Saraiva
  9. Role and relevance of Business Incubators in ICT led global educational system: case for Eco-Enterprise Village By Koshy, Perumal
  10. Knowledge Production in European Union: Evidence from a National Level Panel Data By Pinto, Hugo
  11. Who leads research productivity change? Guidelines for R&D policy-makers By Jiménez, Fernando; Zabala-Iturriagagoitia, Jon Mikel; Zofío, José Luis
  12. The determinants of growth for SMEs. A longitudinal study from French manufacturing firms By Nadine Levratto; Luc Tessier; Messaoud Zouikri
  13. The Instability of Joint Ventures: Learning from Others or Learning to Work with Others By José Mata; Pedro Portugal
  14. Il finanziamento degli investimenti in R&S. Gli effetti sulla crescita e sulla struttura finanziaria By Garofalo, Giuseppe; Morganti, Patrizio

  1. By: Donato Iacobucci (Dipartimento di Ingegneria Informatica, Gestionale e dell’Automazione, Università Politecnica delle Marche); Alessandra Micozzi (Dipartimento di Ingegneria Informatica, Gestionale e dell’Automazione, Università Politecnica delle Marche)
    Abstract: The aim of this paper is to provide an analysis of the present situation and recent evolution in entrepreneurship courses and curricula in Italian universities. The analysis is based on a census of entrepreneurship courses and curricula run by Italian universities in 2004 and 2010. Entrepreneurship education in Italian universities is in its early development. Up to 2004 only a few universities had courses dedicated to entrepreneurship and the majority of them dealt with the development of the business plan. This situation has only slightly improved in the following years. Courses and curricula are mostly within business schools while very few exist in engineering and science schools. This situation contrasts with the need for entrepreneurship education in the Italian economy. Given the importance of traditional sectors in Italian industry we need to stimulate start-up in high-tech sectors: the development of entrepreneurship courses in engineering and in other science curricula could play an important role in this sense. At the same time we need to favor the growth process of small firms; this requires people who are able to play an entrepreneurial role in established firms.
    Keywords: entrepreneurship education, university courses, intrapreneurship, entrepreneurial competences.
    Date: 2010–11
  2. By: Spyros Arvanitis (KOF Swiss Economic Institute, ETH Zurich, Switzerland); Heinz Hollenstein (KOF Swiss Economic Institute, ETH Zurich, Switzerland)
    Abstract: The aim of this article is to investigate the differences between specific motives of R&D investment in foreign locations with respect to the factors influencing the likelihood of foreign R&D and to the impact of foreign presence on the parent firms’ innovativeness and productivity. An econometric analysis of Swiss firm panel data shows, firstly, that factors related to firm-specific knowledge-oriented advantages are more important for explaining the likelihood of foreign R&D activities than factors reflecting disadvantages related to home location. Secondly, knowledge-oriented motives of foreign R&D are positively correlated to innovation performance of domestic firms, whereas market-oriented and resource-oriented strategies correlate positively with productivity.
    Keywords: Research and development (R&D), Foreign R&D, Motives of foreign R&D, Home effects of foreign R&D, Firm performance
    JEL: O31 F23
    Date: 2010–05
  3. By: Tom Broekel
    Abstract: The paper investigates the impact of R&D subsidies on regional innovation efficiency. Building on a rich panel data set covering 270 German labor market regions and four industries, it is particularly shown that subsidies for R&D cooperation are a suitable policy measure for stimulating the innovation efficiency of regions. The empirical findings moreover suggest that regions with low innovation capacities benefit from subsidized inter-regional cooperation involving partners with diverse industrial and sectoral backgrounds. Establishing inter-regional cooperation that give access to related knowledge and skills is more important for regions with large innovation capacities.
    Keywords: innovation policy, regional innovation efficiency, R&D subsidies, cooperation networks, knowledge networks
    JEL: O18 O38 R58 R12
    Date: 2010–12
  4. By: Spyros Arvanitis (KOF Swiss Economic Institute, ETH Zurich, Switzerland); Tobias Stucki (KOF Swiss Economic Institute, ETH Zurich, Switzerland)
    Abstract: Innovative start-ups, not start-ups in general, seem to be important drivers of economic growth. However, little is known about how such firms look like. As activities of start-ups are strongly related to firm founders, we investigate this question focusing on the innovation capability of firm founders. We find that the combination of different founder characteristics such as university education (at best a combination of technical and commercial education), prior experience in R&D, and strong motivation to realize own innovative ideas increases innovative activities of start-ups by more than 40%.
    Keywords: Start-ups, innovation, founder characteristics
    JEL: M13 L26 O30
    Date: 2010–09
  5. By: Giuliano CONTI (Universita' Politecnica delle Marche, Dipartimento di Economia); Alessia LO TURCO (Universita' Politecnica delle Marche, Dipartimento di Economia); Daniela MAGGIONI (Universita' Politecnica delle Marche, Dipartimento di Economia)
    Abstract: We provide evidence on backward linkages between downstream manufacturing sectors and the export performance of Italian business service firms. Combining input-output coefficients from the National Accounts with region-level information on the international involvement and market thickness of downstream manufacturing sectors, we build some measures of local spillovers and we test them as determinants of the business service firms' export status. Our results show that the export activity of downstream manufacturing sectors is positively related to the services firms' probability of exporting to the same foreign market. Also downstream market thickness bears the same positive effect, even if the latter turns to be non-significant for KIBS sectors. Finally, our evidence confirms that the scope of export spillovers is essentially local.
    Keywords: Services, back-ward linkages, firms' internationalisation, spillovers
    JEL: F14 L25 L80
    Date: 2010–12
  6. By: Marius Ley (KOF Swiss Economic Institute, ETH Zurich, Switzerland)
    Abstract: Given the increasing interest in understanding (and supporting by means of public policy) innovative activity related to energy efficient technology (EET), I attempt to identify firm-level determinants of innovation and research in this field. A novel dataset of Swiss firms has been assembled by means of a survey in 2009, resulting in more than 2300 observations featuring various indicators of innovative activity and success. Applying standard econometric methodology, I find sizeable differences of the explaining factors of energy efficiency related innovation as compared to overall innovation. In particular, market environment related variables important for overall innovative activity seem to have little explanatory power for EET related innovation, raising the question whether such innovation sufficiently responds to current and potential future demand.
    Keywords: Innovation, Energy, Energy Efficiency
    JEL: O31 Q49
    Date: 2010–09
  7. By: Paula Andréa Marques do Valle (FACE-UFG, Ciências Econômicas); Dnilson Carlos Dias (FACE-UFG, Ciências Econômicas)
    Abstract: This study aims to identify the characteristics of groups of students in business and engineering, in a comparative way, which qualifies them as future innovative professionals, spreading the knowledge frontier. Five factors were highlighted: assertiveness, leadership, risk tolerance/accessibility, dedication and competence in information. The focus was on identifying the presence of entrepreneurial characteristics, contrasting the ranks of engineering and business, and the relationship of these characteristics with age and gender of respondents, allowing a comparative analysis of their educational backgrounds. To discuss that, this paper made use of a data set obtained from a research applied to students of the Federal University of Goiás. This study is part of an ongoing research that will investigate students’ profiles for a period of ten years, understanding the role carried out by institutions of higher education, through this case study. The research main instrument is a questionnaire developed by the University of Northern Iowa (USA) and applied to students of business (economics, business administration and accounting) as well as engineering majors (civil engineers) of the Federal University of Goiás. To analyze the data the study will make use of multivariate analysis, such as factor analysis (FA) via PCA (principal component analysis), followed by a logistic regression of gender in relation to the entrepreneurial profile of students, as well as an OLS linear regression of age in relation to these same factors. The results pointed out that both groups presented innovative traces in common, such as: assertiveness, dedication, leadership and informational competence; and, individually, the engineer group showed accessibility to be a major factor, versus risk tolerance for the business group. In the logistic regression analysis the innovative characteristics were assertiveness and leadership for the business majors; versus dedication and accessibility for the engineering majors. This allowed the considerations that the assertiveness was associated with the female students, while leadership was consistent with the male respondents, for the business students; as for the engineers it was identified a higher dedication trait for women in face of a more pronounced accessibility for men. Regarding the age analysis it was only possible to identify significance for the business group, which presented a higher dedication for older students.
    Keywords: Production of knowledge, education, entrepreneurship.
    Date: 2010–12
  8. By: Aurora Galego (Universidade de Evora and CEFAGE-UE); Margarida Saraiva (Universidade de Évora and UNIDE/ISCTE)
    Abstract: This paper presents an analysis on the higher education graduates' employability in the field of Business and Administration in Portugal. Using econometric techniques, we consider the impact of several variables in the unemployment "propensity" of the pair study program/institution. The results show that there are important differences between public and private institutions, between study programs of great and small size, between the several fields of graduation within Business and Administration as well as regional differences.
    Keywords: Graduates;Business and Administration Science; Employability; Higher Education; Fractional Models.
    JEL: J64 I23 C25
    Date: 2010
  9. By: Koshy, Perumal
    Abstract: Following paper presents the case of Business Incubators (BIs) as future educational and learning centres. It explores the question of how feasible and relevant is this concept andt how they can be designed to deliver educational & training programmes that meet the requirement of knowledge economy by suitably preparing youth to face the challenges of the global market. Business Incubators are businesses aiming at nurturing and establishing other businesses. They are considered to be an excellent tool for Small and Micro Enterprises (SMEs) development. Targeted assistance at small entrepreneurs & start-up businesses- help them grow and graduate to mature enterprises. According to ILO estimates 300 million jobs have to be created world over in the next 5 years. As many as 45 million young people enter the job market annually, at a global level. There are three different kinds of BIs and they are public, private, and university based BIs and are commonly classified by ownership. In the IT-led global knowledge village, there are seamless potentials for study, earning a degree and education outside of the college campuses. Virtual campuses are the reality today. What are needed then would be centres for imparting practical lessons on commercialising the knowledge, innovative ideas, and technical skills. Also it is important to impart real training in starting, managing, making profit and pursuing the growth of enterprises & ventures that a youth entrepreneur could launch. In the knowledge economy, BIs can be real learning centres. Also, technological and academic oriented knowledge & literacy is not the only skill required for attaining success, set-up a business or getting a well-paying job in the new knowledge based global economy. But what is required are a set of skills called 21st century skills, which can be well delivered through BIs, when they are turned as educational centres. The paper also presents a BI model, which has an objective of building businesses with a strategic orientation towards environment and sustainable development. The BI design presented is called as Eco-Enterprise Village.
    Keywords: Business Incubators; Micro; Small and Medium Enterprises; Information & Communication Technology; Education and Training; Eco Enterprise Incubator
    JEL: O43 M13
    Date: 2010–11–30
  10. By: Pinto, Hugo
    Abstract: The knowledge production function framework is used to understand how territories transform specific inputs into knowledge outputs. This article focuses knowledge production function estimation at European Union with twenty five member-states using a data panel analysis between 1999 and 2003. The importance of different variables in knowledge production is tested. The econometric results give relevant insights for EU decision-makers and the creation of a more integrated European Research Area and innovation cooperation within Europe.
    Keywords: Knowledge Production Function; Panel Data; European Union
    JEL: C3 O3
    Date: 2010–12–07
  11. By: Jiménez, Fernando (INGENIO (CSIC-UPV)-Universidad Politécnica de Valencia, Valencia, Spain); Zabala-Iturriagagoitia, Jon Mikel (CIRCLE, Centre for Innovation, Research and Competence in the Learning Economy, Lund, Sweden); Zofío, José Luis (Departamento de Análisis Económico (Teoría e Historia Económica). Universidad Autónoma de Madrid.)
    Abstract: We rely on efficiency and productivity analysis based on Malmquist indices to evaluate to what extent policy-makers have been able to promote the creation and consolidation of comprehensive research groups that contribute to the implementation of a successful innovation system. We suggest that this dynamic evaluation offers relevant information to current ex-post policy evaluation methods, helping decision makers to readapt and reorient policies and their associated means, most notably resource allocation (financial schemes), to better respond to the actual needs of promising research groups in their search for excellence (micro-level perspective), and to adapt future policy design to the achievement of medium-long term policy objectives (meso and macro level perspectives). We apply this methodology to the case of the Spanish R&D Food Technology Program finding that a large size and a comprehensive multi-dimensional research output are the key features of the leading groups exhibiting high efficiency and productivity levels. Identifying these groups as benchmark, we conclude that the financial grants allocated by the program, typically aimed at small-sized and partially oriented research group, have no succeeded in reorienting them in time so as to overcome their limitations.
    Keywords: Innovation Policy; Management; Malmquist Index.
    JEL: C43 D24 O47
    Date: 2010–11
  12. By: Nadine Levratto; Luc Tessier; Messaoud Zouikri
    Abstract: This paper investigates the structural and strategic determinants of firm growth using a unique data set for French firms employing between 10 and 250 employees in 1997 and active over the period 1997-2007. Starting from the idea that firm growth is not only a random process but that some regularities may be emphasized, we consider a growth model that combines different elements presented as determinant in the firm’s growth path. Results based on two families of multinomial logit model do not confirm the conclusions about the exclusive role played by the previous size. In addition, thanks to the references to legal structure, market share and localization, one observes these variables shape strongly the individual growth path. However environment and structural elements are not the only elements to focus on in order to provide an explanation of the employment growth rate at the firm level. Strategic factors matter too. In particular we demonstrate the crucial role of labor costs and financial structure as explanatory variables of firm growth.
    Keywords: Firm growth, SMEs, Gibrat’s law, French manufacturing, multinomial logistic regression
    JEL: L25 C1
    Date: 2010
  13. By: José Mata; Pedro Portugal
    Abstract: We analyze the patterns of international joint venture termination, to compare the learning and trust views of joint ventures. We distinguish between three ways in which termination may occur and allow for the possibility that some joint ventures never confront the chances of terminating in these ways. We find that the chances of terminating a joint venture increase over time, in particular when the joint venture is terminated by dissolution of the firm and by acquisition by the foreign partner. Our findings thus support the view thatlearning outperforms trust in explaining the time patterns of joint venture survival.
    JEL: L25 L10
    Date: 2010
  14. By: Garofalo, Giuseppe; Morganti, Patrizio
    Abstract: The financing of innovation impacts on economic growth. What’s, among bank-based or market-based system, the best organizational form? The paper supports the view that both forms have to be merged into a unique approach (law and finance view) embracing not only the overall quality of the financial services' supply (financial services view) but also the related legal aspects. In particular, the paper agrees with the thesis that the financial structure of the economy emerges endogenously depending both on the firms’ R&D investment choices and on their initial wealth level. The paper presents also an empirical validation of the financial services and, more specifically, of the law and finance view, carried out over the period 1980-2008. A focus is dedicated to the Chinese case, which shows strong economic growth and increasingly efficient financial sector, in despite of the weakness of the legal system.
    Keywords: R&D investment; finance and growth; financial system and institutions
    JEL: K20 O32 D82 E44 P48 G20
    Date: 2010–03

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