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The impact of technological and non-technological innovations on export intensity in SMEs

Dragana Radicic (Lincoln International Business School, University of Lincoln, Lincoln, UK)
Khurshid Djalilov (Bournemouth University Business School, Bournemouth, UK)

Journal of Small Business and Enterprise Development

ISSN: 1462-6004

Article publication date: 4 January 2019

Issue publication date: 7 August 2019

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to investigate how both technological and non-technological innovations influence export intensity in small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). In addition, the authors report results for each firm-size category of micro-, small and medium firms, and thus reflect SME heterogeneity.

Design/methodology/approach

The research methodology is based on the analysis of the Eurobarometer 2014 data set from 28 EU Member States, Switzerland and the USA covering the period 2011–2014. To statistically test the three defined research hypotheses on individual and joint effects of both types of innovation, a multiple treatment model was estimated. The advantage of this empirical strategy is that it takes into account the endogeneity of both technological and non-technological innovations. Moreover, the authors employ the production approach or the direct test of complementarity between technological and non-technological innovations.

Findings

Empirical findings indicate that technological innovations positively affect export intensity in small and medium firms, whereas non-technological innovations exert no influence on export intensity, regardless of the firm size. Moreover, the results from the direct test suggest no evidence of the complementary effects of technological and non-technological innovation on export intensity.

Research limitations/implications

The authors infer that SMEs would benefit more from public support targeting both exports and innovations than micro-firms, as the sunk costs of exports are too high for the latter. However, public support aimed at reducing fixed costs of exports could be particularly beneficial for micro-firms.

Originality/value

The research fills a literature gap on the joint impact of technological and non-technological innovations on export intensity while taking into account the endogeneity of innovation activities and SME heterogeneity.

Keywords

Citation

Radicic, D. and Djalilov, K. (2019), "The impact of technological and non-technological innovations on export intensity in SMEs", Journal of Small Business and Enterprise Development, Vol. 26 No. 4, pp. 612-638. https://doi.org/10.1108/JSBED-08-2018-0259

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2019, Emerald Publishing Limited