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Synergistic effect of R&D and exports on performance in US manufacturing industries: high-tech vs low-tech

Jooh Lee (Rowan University, Glassboro, New Jersey, USA)
He-Boong Kwon (Colorado State University – Pueblo, Pueblo, Colorado, USA)

Journal of Modelling in Management

ISSN: 1746-5664

Article publication date: 23 October 2021

Issue publication date: 31 March 2023

722

Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to explore the strategic impact of R&D and export activity on the diverse dimensions of US manufacturing firms’ performance. It also explores, using a predictive analytic model, the interactive synergistic effect that R&D and exports have on firm performance.

Design/methodology/approach

This study presents an innovative two-stage regression-neural network approach. Complementing conventional statistical analysis, the predictive backpropagation neural network explores the relative impact of R&D and exports and their synergistic effect on firm performance.

Findings

This study demonstrates the significant and positive effect of R&D and export strategy/activity on the economic performance of leading US manufacturing firms, particularly on their market-based performance (i.e. sustained growth rate or SGR). Furthermore, this study finds that the synergistic effect of R&D and exports on short-term performance (i.e. return on investment) is positive in high-tech firms but negative in low-tech firms. However, the synergistic effect on SGR is increasingly positive regardless of the level of technology.

Originality/value

In addition to traditional statistical analysis, this study uniquely investigates the relative importance of selected strategic variables, along with R&D and export activity and their differential synergistic effects, for firms’ economic performance in contrasting industry settings (high-tech vs low-tech).

Keywords

Citation

Lee, J. and Kwon, H.-B. (2023), "Synergistic effect of R&D and exports on performance in US manufacturing industries: high-tech vs low-tech", Journal of Modelling in Management, Vol. 18 No. 2, pp. 343-371. https://doi.org/10.1108/JM2-03-2021-0057

Publisher

:

Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2021, Emerald Publishing Limited

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