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Innovative products and services with environmental benefits: design of search strategies for external knowledge and absorptive capacity

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Although the antecedents of environmental innovation and open innovation strategies have been well-studied separately, the relationship between a firm's openness and environmental technological innovation still remains an interesting topic to research, especially in terms of the various modes of openness on the one hand and the product–process distinction on the other. This study relies on data from the French Community Innovation Survey to differentiate the association of three dimensions of open inbound innovation search strategies – acquiring, sharing, and information sourcing – with environmental product (ecoproduct) and process (ecoprocess) innovations. Inbound innovation, attained through the acquisition of machinery, equipment, and software, is more likely to be associated with ecoprocess than ecoproduct innovations; external R&D only drives ecoproducts. Inbound sharing through R&D cooperation seems associated with the introduction of both ecoproducts and ecoprocesses. For inbound innovation sourcing, external market sources of information are positively associated with firms’ involvement in all types of environmental innovation.
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Keywords: R&D acquisition; R&D cooperation; environmental innovation; inbound innovation; sourcing

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: IREGE, University of Savoie, Annecy-le-Vieux, France 2: Luxembourg Institute of Socio-Economic Research (LISER), Porte des Sciences, Esch-sur-Alzette, Luxembourg 3: Facultad De Ciencias Económicas, Universidad de Castilla-La Mancha, Albacete, Spain

Publication date: September 19, 2018

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