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Intellectual capital as enhancer of product novelty: An empirical study of Russian manufacturing SMEs

Mariia Molodchik (ID LAB, National Research University Higher School of Economics, Perm, Russia)
Carlos Maria Jardon (Department of Applied Economics, Universidad de Vigo, Vigo, Spain) (National Research University Higher School of Economics, Perm, Russia)

Journal of Intellectual Capital

ISSN: 1469-1930

Article publication date: 10 April 2017

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to theoretically justify the link between the endowment of intellectual capital (IC) and product novelty, and to find empirical evidence for such a link for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the Russian business environment.

Design/methodology/approach

The study implements an intellectual capital-based view and the concept of novelty proposed by Schumpeter to highlight the crucial role of knowledge for transition to a higher level of competition. Drawing on a literature review, the authors determine three specific components of IC: foreign human capital, information and communication technology (ICT) capital developed at an international level and cooperation with foreign partners in order to pinpoint a premier position on the next level of the market. For empirical testing of the proposed model, a data set comprising more than 1,400 Russian manufacturing SMEs was used. Estimations were performed with the help of a principal component analysis and ordinal logistic regression.

Findings

The findings reveal that higher (IC) endowment promotes the level of product novelty. For Russian manufacturing SMEs, the most important is R&D capital. At the same time, ICT capital developed at an international level and cooperation with foreign partners contribute significantly to the probability of transition to a new market level.

Research limitations/implications

The study employs cross-sectional data that restrict the analysis of innovation dynamics.

Practical implications

The study appears to have policy implications for the development of governmental programmes for Russian SMEs such as the creation of IC awareness, training for IC management, special programmes for R&D support and ICT capital accumulation.

Originality/value

This paper proposes a new approach for investigating the “knowledge-innovation” link, shifting the focus from a general analysis of product innovation to a level of novelty for product innovation. This is the first empirical study of the relationship between IC components and the level of product novelty for SMEs in the context of the Russian business environment.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

This study comprises research findings from the project No. 15-18-20039 supported by the Russian Science Foundation.

Citation

Molodchik, M. and Jardon, C.M. (2017), "Intellectual capital as enhancer of product novelty: An empirical study of Russian manufacturing SMEs", Journal of Intellectual Capital, Vol. 18 No. 2, pp. 419-436. https://doi.org/10.1108/JIC-06-2016-0059

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

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