بحران اقتصادی و نوآوری :آیا تخریب حاکم بر انباشت است؟
|کد مقاله||سال انتشار||تعداد صفحات مقاله انگلیسی||ترجمه فارسی|
|2383||2013||12 صفحه PDF||سفارش دهید|
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Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : Research Policy, Volume 42, Issue 2, March 2013, Pages 303–314
The 2008 economic crisis has severely reduced the short-term willingness of firms to invest in innovation. But this reduction has not occurred uniformly and a few firms even increased their investment in spite of the adverse macroeconomic environment. This paper, based on the latest three waves of the UK Community Innovation Survey, compares drivers of innovation investment before and during the crisis. We find that the crisis led to a concentration of innovative activities within a small group of fast growing new firms and those firms already highly innovative before the crisis. The companies in pursuit of more explorative strategies towards new product and market developments are those to cope better with the crisis.
The 2008 financial crisis has severely reduced the short-term willingness of companies to invest in innovation (OECD, 2009, Paunov, 2012 and Archibugi and Filippetti, 2011). While on the whole firms’ investment in innovation declined during the economic downturn, a small but significant minority of firms are “swimming against the stream” and have increased their expenditures on innovation.1 Who are these firms that have decided to respond to the crisis by innovating more rather than less? There are two possible scenarios. (a) These firms are the most dynamic ones; those that cannot survive without changing their products and services. The competitive advantage of these firms resides in the generation and upgrading of new knowledge, and they innovate continuously, irrespectively of the business cycle. (b) Or, alternatively, these firms are new innovators that were not necessarily involved in innovation before the crisis. These firms might be smaller in size or entirely new firms that take advantage of the crisis to contest the market shares of incumbent firms or to launch fresh markets. Scenario (a) assumes that innovation and technical change are rooted in cumulative learning processes and path-dependent patterns that are woven into organizational routines. This brings persistence in innovative activities, and persistence, in turn, is led by well established firms (Dosi, 1982, Nelson and Winter, 1982 and Antonelli, 1997). Scenario (b) is based on the assumption that economic turbulence makes it possible for new and small firms to emerge in a competitive market through innovation (Tushman and Anderson, 1986, Henderson and Clark, 1990, Simonetti, 1996, Freeman and Louca, 2001, Perez, 2002 and Perez, 2009). As with most insights in the field of innovation, the two scenarios derive from the theorising of Joseph A. Schumpeter and which Freeman et al. (1982) have labelled Schumpeterian models Mark I and Mark II. Schumpeter and his followers suggested that economic cycles are the consequence of innovation, but also that innovative activities and innovative organisations are re-shaped by economic crises. In particular, we interpret the canonical debate between the two models elaborated by the young and the old Schumpeter in the following way.2 During an upswing in the business cycle innovation is carried out in a cumulative fashion. Firms carry out innovation along established technological trajectories and develop into incumbents that accomplish innovation as a routine, also to prevent the entrance of newcomers (Schumpeter, 1942). Following Bell and Pavitt (1993), Pavitt (1999) and Malerba and Orsenigo (1995), we call this process creative accumulation. An economic turmoil, on the contrary, generates a shakeout in established industries and technological fields; new firms in new sectors play a relatively bigger role than incumbent firms in generating innovations. New firms are eager to exploit new technological opportunities also as a way to challenge incumbent corporations; as the young Schumpeter suggested, “it is not the owner of the stage-coaches who builds railways” (Schumpeter, 1911 (1934)), p. 66. Following Schumpeter, we call this process creative destruction.3 The insights from Schumpeter have been enriched by the Neo-Schumpeterian stream of research. Following Nelson and Winter (1982) and Dosi (1982), it emerged that there are important differences across technological regimes and industrial sectors (Malerba and Orsenigo, 1995 and Malerba and Orsenigo, 1997). The literature on the persistence of innovation, empirically supported by the analysis of patent data and innovation counts (Geroski et al., 1997 and Cefis and Orsenigo, 2001), and innovation survey data (Peters, 2007, Roper and Hewitt-Dundas, 2008 and Antonelli et al., 2010), confirmed that there are several industries where the innovators of today were also innovators in the past. But on the whole this literature finds mixed evidence and shows that the cumulative and path-dependent nature of technical change is greater in those firms that (a) devote a substantial budget to R&D and innovation, (b) concentrate on product innovations, and (c) are large in terms of their size. There are also a number of recent empirical studies that explore firms’ innovative behaviour before and during economic recessions. Kanerva and Hollanders (2009), analysing Innobarometer data for Europe, find no association between firm size and decline in investment during 2008. Their results suggest that highly innovative firms continued to invest in innovation also during the downturn. Alvarez et al. (2010), in their analysis of Chilean manufacturing firms, explore firms’ responses to the financial crisis of 1998. They find a positive association between firm size and organisational innovations, but no impact of financial constraints on innovation performance during the crisis. In contrast, Antonioli et al. (2010), find that, in their analysis of firms located in Italy's Emilia-Romagna, SMEs were more innovative compared with large firms during the recent crisis. In a firm-based study in eight Latin American countries, Paunov (2012) shows that the current crisis led many firms to stop ongoing innovation projects. The rising financial constraint and the negative demand shock affected the decisions of firms to abandon innovation projects. Further, younger businesses supplying foreign multinationals or suffering export shocks were more likely to stop innovating. Filippetti and Archibugi (2011) explore firms’ innovation investment in Europe and find that (a) the crisis brings about a reduction in the willingness of firms to increase innovation investment, and (b) strong national systems of innovation help firms to retain their invest in innovation. Thanks to a panel dataset we are able in this paper to explore firms’ innovation behaviour before and during the crisis. While there is a general consensus on the fact that the most innovative firms are also more likely to persist in innovating, we would like to explore a counter argument. On the one hand, firms with a more agile/flexible structure might take better advantage of changing environments and new market opportunities; on the other hand, firms in more established industries might suspend or abandon ongoing innovation projects to reduce costs. In other words, the unique environment of the current economic crisis might challenge innovation in a cumulative fashion and lead to an environment more closely related to creative destruction. It is possible, and indeed likely, that the innovators during the crisis differ from those before the crisis. This paper seeks to shed light on this issue by examining the following question: who are the innovators during the economic crisis compared to before the crisis? Answering this question would provide important clues for policy makers. We address this question by analysing a balanced panel of around 2,500 UK enterprises that responded to the last three waves of the UK version of the Community Innovation Survey (CIS), thus covering for each enterprise the period 2002–2008. The paper is structured as follows. Section 2 introduces our theoretical framework and develops the hypotheses. Section 3 introduces the dataset and methodology. Section 4 presents the results that are discussed in the last section.
نتیجه گیری انگلیسی
The aim of this paper was to investigate how the current economic downturn has affected different typologies of innovating firms. During major recessions, the economic landscape is characterized by huge uncertainties about the direction of technological change, demand conditions, and new market opportunities. The first significant result at the aggregate level is that the crisis has substantially reduced the innovation expenditure of the firm. On average, firms in our sample reduced innovation expenditure in 2008 by 8 percent compared to 2006. No doubt that the crisis has brought, at least in its initial stage, “destruction” in the amount of resources devoted to innovation. The second major aggregate result is that innovation expenditure started to be more concentrated: fewer firms were responsible for an increased share of innovation expenditure. We used two well-established, ideal typical scenarios: the creative destruction and creative accumulation – to frame our results. We assumed a clear-cut division according to which a scenario of creative accumulation would prevail in regular times, while a scenario of creative destruction would prevail in times of crisis. We are well aware that a clear-cut division between the two scenarios does not exist. Employing a panel dataset spanning the period 2004–2008 we were able to explore to what extent the innovators during the crisis are also those who were innovating before, or they are new innovators which are taking advantage of the peculiar environment of a major economic downturn. Our evidence strongly supports the case for creative accumulation. Those firms identified as the great innovators in 2004, are responsible for a larger share of innovation expenditure in 2008 compared to 2006. It should also be noted that the great innovators do not stand as increasing innovation before the crisis, in 2006. That is, being a great innovator does not predict increase in innovation investment before the crisis, but it does during the crisis. Put differently, the cumulative, or persistent, nature of innovation activity tends to be more prominent in times of crisis compared to during ordinary times. But does it mean that the crisis is exacerbating the concentration of innovation in a few firms, thus leaving few hopes for dynamic Schumpeterian entrepreneurs? In fact, alongside the great innovators there is another category of firms which is gaining momentum during the crisis by increasing innovation expenditure. They are the fast growing new firms. The latter are firms established between 2000 and 2004 coupled with a faster rate of turnover growth. As with the great innovators, this group of firms does not show an above average behaviour in 2006 but it starts to increase expenditure during the crisis. We then asked what the innovators looked like during the crisis. Particularly, drawing from the research on innovation persistence we investigated those characteristics of the firm which make the firm more likely to keep on innovating, and we applied this framework to the context of the crisis. Similarly to previous studies, we find that size, economic performance, and an exploitation strategy predict increased innovation investment before the crisis. However, when we turn to what happened during the crisis we find interesting differences. Both size and economic performance play a less important role. By contrast, the presence of in-house R&D activity becomes a major predictor of increase in innovation expenditure during the crisis. As for the firm's strategy, pursuing an explorative strategy (including looking into new markets), becomes relatively more important. This evidence suggests that during the current crisis the sources of persistence in innovation are fundamentally two. In the first place, the existence of an R&D department suggests the firm has made a medium or long-term committed to innovation. Secondly, we show the important contribution of a strategy, and in particular of a strategy aimed at exploring new markets and new product developments. Identifying the characteristics of the innovators during the turmoil, as we have tried to do here, can shed some light on how policy instruments interact with technological accumulation and creative destruction. There is little doubt that the old innovators are taking advantage of the turbulent environment to gain momentum. However, the picture is made more complicated by the presence of new entrants who have been growing fast. Our evidence is thus consistent with an innovation environment characterized by the simultaneous presence of both creative destruction and creative accumulation, labelled by Freeman et al. (1982), Schumpeterian models Mark I and Mark II. This bears some implications for policy. On the one hand, policies should support the good innovators, and reward the winners under the assumption that those who won in the past are those better equipped to also win in the future. On the other hand, policies should also encourage the creation of new innovative firms. It is certainly not easy for policy makers to recognize which of the new firms are more likely to be successful and the fact that they are relatively young makes this task even harder. Our data suggests that size alone would not be enough to indicate if a firm will be successful. Other structural characteristics, such as the presence of an R&D department and its past economic performance, seem to play a more important role. We conclude by pointing out some limitations of the study. The analysis presented here is limited by the data and the statistical models. First, the results are confined to the UK, and it will be important to see if they are confirmed for the rest of Europe, the United States as well as emerging countries. Second, data do not allow singling out the dynamics at the industry level. Finally, we could not look at the firms established during the crisis. Perhaps the Bill Gates, Steve Jobs and Mark Zuckerberg of the future are already at work. It would certainly not be the first time that innovation surprises us.