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Complementarity between technology make and buy in innovation strategies: Evidence from Belgiam manufacturing firms
Cassiman, Bruno; Veugelers, Reinhilde
Universitat Pompeu Fabra. Departament d'Economia i Empresa
This paper characterizes the innovation strategy of manufacturing firms andexamines the relation between the innovation strategy and importantindustry-, firm- and innovation-specific characteristics using Belgiandata from the Eurostat Community Innovation Survey. In addition to importantsize effects explaining innovation, we find that high perceived risks andcosts and low appropriability of innovations do not discourage innovation,but rather determine how the innovation sourcing strategy is chosen. Withrespect to the determinants of the decision of the innovative firm toproduce technology itself (Make) or to source technology externally (Buy),we find that small firms are more likely restrict their innovation strategyto an exclusive make or buy strategy, while large firms are more likely tocombine both internal and external knowledge acquisition in their innovationstrategy. An interesting result that highlights the complementary nature ofthe Make and Buy decisions, is that, controlled for firm size, companies forwhich internal information is an important source for innovation are morelikely to combine internal and external sources of technology. We find thisto be evidence of the fact that in-house R&D generates the necessaryabsorptive capacity to profit from external knowledge acquisition. Also theeffectiveness of different mechanisms to appropriate the benefits ofinnovations and the internal organizational resistance against change areimportant determinants of the firm's technology sourcing strategy.
Labour, Public, Development and Health Economics
research and development
make or buy decision
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Working Paper

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