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Innovation paths and the innovation performance of low-technology firms - An empirical analysis of German industry

: Kirner, E.; Kinkel, S.; Jaeger, A.


Research policy 38 (2009), No.3, pp.447-458
ISSN: 0048-7333
Journal Article
Fraunhofer ISI ()
low- and medium-technology firm; innovation performance; innovation path; product innovation; process innovation

This paper analyses innovation paths and the innovation performance of low-technology firms in comparison to medium- and high-technology firms. Firstly, it shows that low-, medium- and high-technology sectors consist of a considerable mix of low-, medium- and high-technology firms. Thus, it is necessary to look at the firm level when analysing how innovation patterns differ depending on the level of R&D intensity. Secondly, the product and process innovation performance of low-technology firms in German industry is analysed based on data from 1663 firms in the German Manufacturing Survey 2006, applying a set of both product and process related innovation output indicators. The empirical results show that low-technology manufacturing firms lag behind their medium- and high-tech counterparts regarding their product and service innovation performance, to a large degree on purely definitional grounds, but that they seem to perform equally well and in some respects even better at process innovation.