بررسی اثرات ابعاد مختلف سرمایه اجتماعی بر فعالیت های نوآورانه : شواهد از اروپا در سطح منطقه ای
|کد مقاله||سال انتشار||تعداد صفحات مقاله انگلیسی||ترجمه فارسی|
|4158||2009||16 صفحه PDF||سفارش دهید|
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Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : Technovation, Volume 29, Issue 3, March 2009, Pages 218–233
This exploratory study investigates how different dimensions of social capital influence a region's innovative activity measured by patent applications. Human capital and R&D are also included in the analysis as factors of innovative activity. The novelty of the paper lies in the fact that for measuring social capital, instead of one overall index, six factors are constructed of 20 indicators using principal components analysis. Unlike many previous studies, this one uses the structural equation modelling approach instead of regression analysis in order to take into account the relationships between the factors of innovative activity. Regional-level data from Eurostat Regio and the European Social Survey are analysed. The findings provide strong support for the argument that social capital indeed influences innovative activity and furthermore, that different dimensions of social capital have dissimilar effects on innovative activity.
It is commonly accepted that innovations play an important role in economic development and growth. Hence, there is no doubt that investments in research and development (R&D) as a main catalyst of innovations are needed. However, the innovation process is additionally influenced by many other factors. One of the factors that has received much attention in the literature is the overall level of human capital of a particular country or region. Another very important factor is the social environment, i.e. networks, trust, norms, etc., which can be jointly referred to as social capital. Social capital as a relevant factor of innovative activity has been actively dealt with in the literature over the last few years both at the level of firms and society as a whole. In the current study, the focus is on the innovative activity of society, which, however, is mainly based on the innovative activity of single firms. First, the social capital of society can be viewed as an aggregate of the social capital of individuals who, in turn, work in the firms being engaged in innovative activity. Networks, trust, and norms of the individual workers form the social capital of firms, which is assumed to influence their innovative activity, for example by favouring cooperation and information exchange both within and between firms, or reducing risk aversion. Second, the social capital of society as a whole can also be supposed to encourage innovative activity, for example by forming a trustworthy milieu, including trust in the patent system. The purpose of this exploratory study is to examine the effect of different dimensions of social capital on innovative activity measured by patent applications in Europe at the regional level. Analysing European regions has an advantage of a relatively homogeneous sample, where the possible unobserved factors of innovative activity are less influential (Akçomak and ter Weel, 2005). The regional level was chosen for two reasons. First, prior research has shown significant within-country differences in the levels of innovative activities, human and social capital (Dakhli and de Clercq, 2004). Second, considering the number of possible variables in the model, for the sake of getting reliable results, a larger sample than the number of European countries is necessary. The current study uses data from the European Social Survey (ESS) and Eurostat. Although the density and composition of firms (by industries) varies by regions, this aspect is left out from this study for reasons of both simplification and data unavailability. To take account of other possible factors, the current analysis includes human capital and R&D as control variables presumably influencing patent applications. Although there are no doubt many other factors, these control variables were chosen on the basis of their importance. The novelty and contribution of this study lies in the following aspects. First, many previous studies have viewed social capital as a one-dimensional concept, measuring it by an overall index, one variable or one latent construct (see, for instance, Akçomak and ter Weel, 2005 and Akçomak and ter Weel, 2006; Subramaniam and Youndt, 2005). However, it is possible that different dimensions of social capital may have dissimilar impacts on innovative activity, for example, networks that facilitate information exchange are expected to encourage innovative activity, while norms of orderliness may suppress new ideas and counteract innovations. Therefore, this paper examines the influence of social capital on patent applications by separate dimensions. Second, the number of different dimensions of social capital included in the present analysis is higher than in previous studies analysing more than one dimension (Dakhli and de Clercq, 2004; Landry et al., 2002; Tsai and Ghoshal, 1998). Third, with regard to methodology, the previous studies using regression analysis have failed to take into account the relationships between the factors of innovative activity themselves. To overcome this problem, this study uses the structural equation modelling (SEM) approach. The paper is structured as follows. Section 2 presents the conceptual background and discusses the possible causal relationships. Section 3 introduces the data analysed and deals with the measurement. Section 4 presents the results of the structural model estimation. Section 5 comprises the discussion, points out the limitations and makes recommendations for future research. Section 6 draws the conclusions.
نتیجه گیری انگلیسی
In summary, this paper attempted to examine the impact of different dimensions of social capital on innovative activity measured by patent applications, including also human capital and R&D in the analysis as the factors of innovative activity. It was assumed that different dimensions of social capital might influence innovative activity in dissimilar ways. The results showed significant support for this argument—although the impact is mostly positive, some dimensions can have a negative impact. As the positive impact of some dimensions of social capital can be compensated by the negative impact of others, the analyses using only one overall index for social capital are likely to undervalue the influence of social capital on innovative activity and the possibilities to encourage innovations through social capital. The findings provide strong support for the argument that social capital influences innovative activity. Among the dimensions of social capital, civic participation, which has not received much attention in the literature so far, appeared to have the strongest positive effect on innovative activity measured by patent applications In keeping with the assumptions and previous results, the norms of orderliness appeared to have a negative medium effect on patent applications. Institutional trust, general trust and networks turned out to have a positive, although rather small, impact on patent applications. The other factors describing the norms of helping, decency, and active social participation turned out to have no significant influence on patent applications. In line with the previous studies, the current results also imply that the influence of human capital is strongly tied to social capital—although no direct impact of human capital on patent applications was revealed, there was a positive medium indirect effect via social capital. It can be concluded that social capital has a significant impact on innovative activity and that it is important to analyse this impact, distinguishing between different dimensions of social capital. In the future, especially the norms and civic participation will need further study as factors of innovative activity.