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Hidden innovators: the role of non-R&D activities

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Although R&D has been highlighted as the main source of firm-level innovations, a significant group of firms develop innovations without performing R&D activities. The primary goal of this study is to understand the sources of innovation in such firms. To accomplish this goal, we explore the role played by other, non-R&D activities that can lead to innovation - activities such as technology forecasting, design, use of advanced manufacturing technologies and training. Our empirical analysis is based on a representative panel of Spanish manufacturing firms. The results strongly support the view that non-R&D activities are critical factors in explaining both product and process innovations attained by any firm, especially in the case of firms not performing R&D. Academic, managerial, and policy implications are derived from these results.
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Keywords: advanced manufacturing technology; design; non-R&D performers; technological forecasting; training

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Departamento de Fundamentos del Analisis Economico II, Universidad Complutense de Madrid., Madrid, Spain 2: Seccion de Organizacion de Empresas, Universidad Carlos III de Madrid, Madrid, Spain 3: Departamento de Economia de la Empresa, Universidad Carlos III de Madrid, Madrid, Spain

Publication date: 2011-04-01

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