Types of innovation, competencies of firms and external knowledge sourcing - Findings from selected sectors and regions of Europe
Summary, in English
Many innovation studies have focused on a narrow concept of technological innovation, such as the generation of patents or the introduction of new products. The performance of firms, however, often depends on innovation defined from a broader perspective. This includes process, organizational, and market innovations as was pointed out already by Schumpeter and more recently by other scholars and the OECD. Still underexplored, however, are the questions on what kinds of knowledge sources such different types of innovations rely and which spatial levels (regional, national, and international) are most relevant for acquiring knowledge. Also, sector and regional contexts are argued to matter for knowledge sourcing and innovation. Drawing on the concepts of knowledge bases and innovation systems, we investigate these relationships by analyzing evidence from seven European countries regarding patterns of knowledge sourcing and their relation to innovation. Based on a multivariate model, we are able to show that product, process, strategic, and organizational innovations rely on partly similar, partly different types, and sources of knowledge reaching from regional to global levels. We also found evidence that sector contexts and the institutional characteristics of regions and countries matter.