The purpose of this paper is to analyze to what extent spending on innovation activities and collaboration at the industry level affects the relationship between firm innovation and performance.
A conceptual model was proposed and empirically tested using multiple linear regression. The data were obtained from the Community Innovation Survey 2012, composing a sample of 890 Italian manufacturing firms.
The results provided full support for the positive moderating effect of intra-industry innovation spending and partial support for the positive moderating effect of intra-industry collaboration, both regarding the relationship between firm innovation spending and performance. Knowledge spillovers derived from intra-industry innovation spending and intra-industry collaboration affect firm performance. While this finding corroborates other studies that have found that the intra-industry R&D spending influences firms’ innovation and performance, it also contributes to improve the understanding about the complementarity of internal innovation activities and knowledge spillovers.
This study contributes to theory by filling a gap concerning the complementarity of internal innovation activities and the effect of knowledge spillovers to improve firm performance. Our findings suggested that intra-industry openness to collaboration and innovation spending, as proxies of knowledge spillovers, plays an important role in complementing firm level innovative efforts, even in the case of firms that spend less on innovation and have a lower degree of collaboration. This is especially relevant for small and medium enterprises, which can take advantage of access to the necessary information to overcome their internal resource constraints for R&D and innovation. The originality of these findings adds value in terms of furthering the understanding of this phenomenon.
The present research is conducted with the support of FAPERJ, Carlos Chagas Filho Foundation for Research Support of the State of Rio de Janeiro (Process No. 202.774/2017) and CNPq, National Council for Scientific and Technological Development (Process Nos 302213/2014-7 and 406559/2018-0).
Caldas, L.F.d.P., Paula, F.d.O. and Macedo-Soares, T.D.L.v.A.d. (2019), "Industry innovation spending and openness to collaboration as levers for firm performance", European Journal of Innovation Management, Vol. 22 No. 4, pp. 617-638. https://doi.org/10.1108/EJIM-04-2018-0075
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