nep-sbm New Economics Papers
on Small Business Management
Issue of 2020‒12‒14
eighteen papers chosen by
João Carlos Correia Leitão
Universidade da Beira Interior

  1. Industry 4.0 related innovation and firm growth By Behrens, Vanessa; Trunschke, Markus
  2. Creating Growth by Connecting Place-Based Development Strategies By Age Mariussen; Fatime Barbara Hegyi
  3. The financial resources of private equity in France: a strategic "master-key" towards business innovation? By Jonathan Labbé
  4. Developing a sustainable financing model for SMEs during the organizational life cycle in Uganda By , AISDL
  5. Sectoral productivity vis-Ã -vis the US and heterogeneity within the EU27: the role of firm size distribution and firm demographics By David Martinez Turegano
  6. The effect of technology transfers from public research institutes and universities on firm innovativeness By María García-Vega; Óscar Vicente-Chirivella
  7. Distant but Close in Sight. Firm-level Evidence on French-German Productivity Gaps in Manufacturing By Thomas Grebel; Mauro Napoletano; Lionel Nesta
  8. Champions of digital transformation? The dynamic capabilities of hidden champions By Wittenstein, Daniel
  9. Essays on the impact of different forms of collaborative R&D on innovation and technological change By Nasiri, Mohammad
  10. Venture capital risk, start-ups and innovation: the syndication of venture capital investments recipe. By Jonathan Labbé
  11. Risk-taking behaviour of family firms: evidence from Tunisia By Dorra Ellouze; Khadija Mnasri
  12. R&D restructuring during the Great Recession and young firms By María García-Vega
  13. Labour market reform and innovation: Evidence from Spain By Maria Garcia Vega; Richard Kneller; Joel Stiebale
  14. Cloud computing and firm growth By Timothy DeStefano; Richard Kneller; Jonathan Timmis
  15. Data Science for Entrepreneurship Research : Studying Demand Dynamics for Entrepreneurial Skills in the Netherlands By Prüfer, Jens; Prüfer, Patricia
  16. Creativity and Entrepreneurship: An Exploratory Multiple Case Study of What Entrepreneurs Think By , AISDL
  17. Atypical combination of technologies in regional co-inventor networks By Milad Abbasiharofteh; Dieter F. Kogler; Balazs Lengyel; ;
  18. Why are Africa’s female entrepreneurs not playing the export game? Evidence from Ghana By Charles Ackah; Holger Goerg; Aoife Hanley; Cecília Hornok

  1. By: Behrens, Vanessa; Trunschke, Markus
    Abstract: In this paper we explore the relationship between innovative firms that patent technology related to Industry 4.0 and their economic performance. By applying the new patent cartography developed by the EPO that identifies firm's 4.0 patents, this is one of the first large-scale, systematic studies on the impact of 4.0 technologies. Since 4.0 patents are more likely to be general purpose technologies, firms with 4.0 patents should be in a better position to increase their sales as 4.0 technology has on average a wider industrial applicability. Results of our Fixed Effects Least Squares regressions and Dynamic Panel Model suggest that 4.0 patent stock is positively associated to sales and that this effect is significantly larger than the effect of Non-4.0 patent stock. These effects are found to be decreasing with firm size.
    Keywords: Industry 4.0,Patents,Firm Performance,Sales Growth
    JEL: L25 O14 O33
    Date: 2020
  2. By: Age Mariussen (University of Vaasa); Fatime Barbara Hegyi (Joint Research Centre)
    Abstract: In the past years, the European Commission launched three thematic Smart Specialisation platforms to support interregional collaborations and to support European Union regions committed to co-invest jointly in strategic growth areas. The bottom up component in this process has resulted in a wide variety of industry-scientific partnerships at regional and transnational levels. These networks include regions, which are very different in terms of innovation ecosystems, but nevertheless connected through shared thematic focus enabling transnational processes of innovation. This paper explains how interregional partnerships build on the efforts and results achieved in national and regional research and innovation strategies for Smart Specialisation and how, as a result of this, new European innovation ecosystems are emerging. With reference to existing literature and experiences so far, the paper outlines a conceptual framework of how transnational cooperation may strengthen regional place-based development strategies and improve regional innovation capabilities. Key analytical concepts are proximity, knowledge complexity, entrepreneurial discovery processes, stakeholder analysis and cluster emergence.
    Keywords: proximity, knowledge complexity, entrepreneurial discovery processes, stakeholder analysis, cluster emergence, smart specialisation, industrial modernisation, place-based strategies
    Date: 2020–11
  3. By: Jonathan Labbé (CEREFIGE - Centre Européen de Recherche en Economie Financière et Gestion des Entreprises - UL - Université de Lorraine)
    Abstract: This paper examines the role of syndication and the different type of venture capitalists' in the financing of companies and the effect on innovation. Specifying the strategic « side » or financial resources we try to identify if it can have an impact on innovation. The setting up of a database including a sample of firms funded by private, public venture capitalists' and syndication in France using as a measure, innovation 'inputs' (R&D expenditure) and 'outputs' (number of registered patents), this article highlights important elements. We find that funding by private venture capitalists', syndication and syndication leads by private VC has a positive effet on innovation measured by number of registered patents. Financing by public VC has a negative effect on innovation measured by number of registered patents.
    Abstract: Cet article étudie le rôle de la syndication et des différents « acteurs » du capital-investissement dans le financement des entreprises et leurs effets sur l'innovation. En précisant le caractère stratégique des ressources financières et en le mettant en lien avec le besoin de financement des entreprises pour soutenir l'innovation, nous tentons d'identifier si certains modes de financement ont un impact sur celle-ci. Par la construction d'une base de données regroupant un ensemble d'entreprises financées par capital-investisseurs privés, publics et par syndication en France, et en prenant comme mesure les « inputs » (les dépenses de recherche et développement) et les « outputs » de l'innovation (le nombre de dépôt de brevets), nous mettons en évidence plusieurs éléments. Les financements par capital-investisseurs privés, en syndication et en syndication avec un actionnaire majoritaire privé ont un effet positif sur l'innovation mesurés par les dépôts de brevets. Les financements effectués par les capital-investisseurs publics ont un effet négatif sur l'innovation mesurés par les dépôts de brevets.
    Keywords: Capital-investisseur public,Capital-investissement,Gouvernance,Innovation,Capital-investisseur privé,Syndication,Brevets,R&D,France
    Date: 2019–05–23
  4. By: , AISDL
    Abstract: World over, it is generally acceptable that Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) are the engines of growth for a number of economies contributing more than half of the economies employment opportunities while at the same time being sources of innovation. With generally that acceptable level of importance to different economies, it is important that these firms continuously prosper for the countries to reap the accompanying benefits. In order for these firms to prosper, there is need for conscious effort being placed on creating an environment that supports their growth and prosperity. It is from this understanding that this study set out to develop a sustainable financing model for Small and Medium Enterprises along the organizational life cycle.
    Date: 2019–09–05
  5. By: David Martinez Turegano (European Commission - JRC)
    Abstract: Labour productivity growth in developed economies has slowed down during the last decade relative to the pre-Great Recession period. The EU27 has been no exception to this trend, keeping both a large negative gap relative to the US and strong country heterogeneity following an uneven convergence process between Member States. Based on these stylized facts, in this paper we investigate which are the main explanatory variables accounting for productivity heterogeneity within the EU, both in level and growth terms. From a policy perspective, our findings suggest a number of areas in which action seems to be warranted, improving technological adoption, increasing innovation intensity, boosting the capital triad (human, tangible and intangible assets), and, with respect to the two micro-structural characteristics we put a focus on, eliminating barriers to growth in firm size and facilitating the entry and exit of enterprises. These same recommendations are even more valid in the specific case of business services, for which productivity performance and convergence seem more sensitive to progress in those policy areas.
    Keywords: Productivity, convergence, sectoral heterogeneity, firm structure, business demographics.
    JEL: E24 J24 L11 O47
    Date: 2020–11
  6. By: María García-Vega; Óscar Vicente-Chirivella
    Abstract: Public research institutes and universities receive large amounts of public funds for the generation and transmission of knowledge. In this paper, we assess the differential impact of technology transfers from public research institutes versus technology transfers from universities on firm innovativeness. We use information of R&D acquisitions from a panel dataset of more than 10,000 Spanish firms from 2005 to 2014. Using matching and difference-in-difference estimators, we show that technology transfers from both organizations increase firm innovativeness. Our results suggest that the knowledge generated by public research institutes is particularly beneficial to firms with high levels of absorptive capacity. In contrast, the knowledge transferred by universities is relatively more beneficial to firms with low levels of absorptive capacities. Hence, public funds for public research institutes are especially important for the R&D intensive private sector. Therefore, the degree of absorptive capacities of the participating firms is important to design public programs that maximize the efficiency of public technology transfers.
    Keywords: Public Research Institutes; Universities; Technology Transfers; Firm innovativeness.
    Date: 2020
  7. By: Thomas Grebel (Technische Universität Ilmenau, Germany); Mauro Napoletano (OFCE Sciences-Po; SKEMA Business School); Lionel Nesta (Université Côte d'Azur, France; GREDEG CNRS; OFCE, SciencesPo; SKEMA Business School)
    Abstract: We study the productivity level distributions of manufacturing firms in France and Germany, and how these distributions evolved across the Great Recession. We show the presence of a systematic productivity advantage of German firms over French ones in the decade 2003-2013, but the gap has narrowed down after the Great Recession. Convergence is explained by the better growth performance of French firms in the post-recession period, especially of those located in the top percentiles of the productivity distribution. We also highlight the role of sectoral growth, firm size and export intensity in explaining the above convergence. In contrast, the contribution of allocative efficiency was small.
    Keywords: International productivity gaps, productivity distributions, firm level comparisons
    JEL: L10 N10 D24
    Date: 2020–11
  8. By: Wittenstein, Daniel
    Abstract: Hidden Champions (HCs) are small- and medium-sized global market leaders that repeatedly show superior innovation capabilities and economic performance. However, empirical evidence on how the digital transformation may affect their success story remains scarce. I argue that HCs show stronger dynamic capabilities which enables them to be better prepared for the digital transformation than non-HCs firms. To test this hypothesis, I use data from the Mannheim Innovation Panel. This allows me to identify a representative set of German HCs and develop a firm digital readiness index, reflecting the use of important digital technologies and applications. An instrumental variable estimation suggests that higher levels of digital readiness lead to an increase in share of revenue from innovations and productivity. In combination with higher average digital readiness levels of HCs compared to non-HCs, my findings indicate that HCs may indeed be better prepared for the digital transformation.
    Keywords: hidden champions,digital transformation,digital readiness,digital preparedness,performance effects,innovation,dynamic capabilities,instrumental variable estimation
    JEL: L60 L19 M19 O32 O33
    Date: 2020
  9. By: Nasiri, Mohammad (Tilburg University, School of Economics and Management)
    Date: 2020
  10. By: Jonathan Labbé (CEREFIGE - Centre Européen de Recherche en Economie Financière et Gestion des Entreprises - UL - Université de Lorraine)
    Abstract: This study presents the effects of the syndication of venture capital investments, on start-ups innovation. For this purpose, we have built a database of 315 deals carried out in 96 companies over a ten-year period. This study attempts to characterize the importance of the role of resources and the competitive advantage they confer to companies. By using the level of research and development (R&D) expenditure and patent applications as a measure of innovation, we highlight several results. Using a dynamic panel approach, we observe that the use of syndication financing tends to "optimize" the effects on the innovation of start-ups.
    Abstract: Cet article présente les effets des financements par syndication mixte sur l'innovation des start-ups. Pour cela nous avons construit une base de données regroupant 315 financements réalisés dans 96 entreprises sur une période de dix années. Cette étude tente caractériser l'importance du rôle des ressources et de l'avantage compétitif qu'elles confèrent aux entreprises. En utilisant le niveau des dépenses de recherche et développement (R&D) et les dépôts de brevets comme mesure de l'innovation nous mettons en évidence plusieurs résultats. Grâce à une approche par panels dynamiques, nous observons que le recours au financement par syndication tend à « optimiser » les effets sur l'innovation des start-ups.
    Keywords: Governance,Start-ups,Start-ups Keywords: Venture capital,Gouvernance,Innovation,Syndication,Capital-Investissement
    Date: 2020–11–12
  11. By: Dorra Ellouze; Khadija Mnasri (CEREFIGE - Centre Européen de Recherche en Economie Financière et Gestion des Entreprises - UL - Université de Lorraine)
    Abstract: Using a unique database of 87 Tunisian non-financial firms over the period 1998-2014, we analyse risk-taking behaviour of family firms. We find evidence that family ownership is positively related to corporate risk-taking. But family firms undertake less risky projects when the manager is not a member of the family or when the founder is no longer active in the firm. Our results show also that in these cases, family ownership becomes negatively associated to risk-taking. Finally, we find that family firms take more risk only when they belong to diversified groups, especially those operating in several industries.
    Keywords: family ownership,corporate governance,group affiliation,risk-taking
    Date: 2019–12–30
  12. By: María García-Vega
    Abstract: In this paper, I provide evidence of automation and skill-upgrading of R&D for young firms during the Great Recession of the late 2000s (henceforth abbreviated as GR). Using a difference-in-difference approach and propensity score matching, for a panel of more than 12,000 Spanish firms from 2005 to 2014, I examine if the GR had an effect on the organization of R&D in young versus older firms. I find that young firms adjust their R&D employment during the GR. I show that young firms implemented three key compositional changes in their R&D policies during the GR as compared to older firms: a) they reduced their R&D employment by firing medium-skilled R&D workers; b) they hired high-skilled R&D workers; and c) they increased their capital investments for R&D. These changes in R&D policies suggest that during the GR, young firms substituted medium-skilled R&D workers by high-skilled workers and machines. These effects are mediated by the firms’ financial health.
    Keywords: Young firms; Great Recession; Firm performance; R&D; Innovation; Automation; skillupgrading; Job polarization.
    Date: 2020
  13. By: Maria Garcia Vega; Richard Kneller; Joel Stiebale
    Abstract: This paper uses data from Spanish manufacturing firms to analyze the effect of a labor market reform on firms' innovation, growth and exporting. The reform provided additional flexibility to firms with less than 50 employees by enabling them to hire workers on a permanent basis with an extended trial period, and thus effectively reducing their firing costs. Exploiting this natural experiment in a difference-in-differences framework, we find that the reform increased the product innovations of the affected firms. We also provide evidence that the reform induced upgrading of product quality and enabled firms to grow faster and to enter new markets. The effects are concentrated in industries where flexible adjustment to unexpected shocks is likely to be important like industries with high R&D intensity and high levels of volatility. Our results suggest that a reduction of employment protection legislation (EPL) increases innovation in firms operating in environments that require high flexibility to produce because the reduction of EPL decreases labor adjustment costs.
    Keywords: innovation, new products, productivity, labour market reform, EPL
    Date: 2019
  14. By: Timothy DeStefano; Richard Kneller; Jonathan Timmis
    Abstract: Cloud computing enables a shift in the costs of ICT adoption from investment in fixed capital to pay-on-demand services allowing firms to scale and reorganize. Using new firm-level data we examine the impact of cloud on firm growth, using zip-code-level instruments of the timing of high-speed fiber availability and speeds. Cloud leads to the growth of employment and revenue for young firms, but they become concentrated in fewer establishments. For incumbents, we find smaller scale effects but dispersed activity through closing establishments and moving employment farther from the headquarters. Moreover, cloud adoption leads to worker relocation across establishments within firms.
    Keywords: firm growth; the cloud; ICT use; employment; productivity
    Date: 2020
  15. By: Prüfer, Jens (Tilburg University, School of Economics and Management); Prüfer, Patricia (Tilburg University, School of Economics and Management)
    Date: 2019
  16. By: , AISDL
    Abstract: The purpose of this exploratory, quantitative and qualitative case study (Yin 1994) is to examine the importance of creativity in entrepreneurship. Is it creativity that leads to entrepreneurial success, or are there factors of entrepreneurial creativity, such as “opportunity recognition,” “programmatic implementation,” and “building networks,” which comprise creativity? Or perhaps creativity stands alone and is separate from the three factors? A review of selected literature on the relationship between creativity and entrepreneurship suggests that creativity is in part pre-cognitive, as well as cognitive processing as described in much of the entrepreneurial literature. This suggests that the above described factors may not be easily identifiable as creativity at all, but may in fact be equally or more important to entrepreneurship than creativity itself. Our findings are consistent with the latter idea, suggesting that even if entrepreneurial activities should theoretically be considered a creative output, entrepreneurs in our study don’t see it that way. Instead they seem to see creativity as separate from those entrepreneurial activities: opportunity recognition, programmatic implementation, and building networks.
    Date: 2019–05–01
  17. By: Milad Abbasiharofteh; Dieter F. Kogler; Balazs Lengyel; ;
    Abstract: Novel combinations of technologies are generated from existing knowledge embedded in collaborative work. Albeit inventors tend to develop specialized skills and participate in specialized work, it is their collaboration with peers with varied experience that facilitates the production of radical novelty. While this is of key importance, we lack full understanding on how the evolution of inventor collaborations is related to the nature of technological combination. In this paper, we analyse how the role of technological specialization and variety in evolving co-inventor networks is related to the creation of ‘atypical’ inventions in European NUTS2 regions. By analysing the community structure of co-inventor networks in each region, we find that the share of atypical patents is growing where co-inventor communities are strongly specialized in certain technologies and these communities are also bridged by collaborations. Evidence suggests that linking communities of dissimilar technological profiles favours atypical knowledge production the most. Our work implies that to produce radical innovative outcomes, regions must support knowledge production in specialized inventor communities and sponsor the bridging of collaborations to induce diversity.
    Keywords: patents, novelty, network communities, technological similarity, network of places
    JEL: F23 D85
    Date: 2020–11
  18. By: Charles Ackah; Holger Goerg; Aoife Hanley; Cecília Hornok
    Abstract: We explore the export performance of Africa’s underperforming female entrepreneurs, using the Ghanaian ISSER-IGC panel, a comprehensive dataset of manufacturing firms for 2011–2015. Uniquely, the data provides information about the severity of key business constraints, across both male and female entrepreneurs. We find that females are less likely to export (and optimize their exporting) than their male peers. Although reduced access to finance seriously constrains the exports of female entrepreneurs, this limitation does not explain their relative inability to leverage value from exports. Consistent with related work, we find that certain social and cultural constraints, in particular constraints linked to bribes and security concerns, are more deeply felt by female entrepreneurs. This may hint at the exclusion of Africa’s females (voluntarily or involuntarily) from male-dominated networks or business practices.
    Keywords: female entrepreneurship; business constraints; productivity; exporting; Africa; Ghana
    Date: 2020

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