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Market versus Corporate Structure in Plant-Level Innovation Performance

James H Love and Brian Ashcroft

Small Business Economics, 1999, vol. 13, issue 2, 97-109

Abstract: This paper examines the effect which market and corporate structure have on the extent of innovation for a sample of circa 300 manufacturing plants located in Scotland. Innovation is defined as the introduction of a commercially significant new product at the establishment level. The theoretical model of Geroski (1990) is extended to incorporate plant-level variables such as size, multiplant operation, the presence of R&D facilities and external/indigenous ownership. A distinction is made between the direct and indirect effects of these variables. Negative binomial estimations indicate that corporate structure influences are more important in determining the number of innovations than market structure and barrier to entry variables. Plant size, foreign ownership and the presence of R&D are all positively associated with innovation. Direct effects greatly outweigh indirect effects. Tobit estimations on the number of innovations per employee support the findings of Acs and Audretsch (1988) that smaller enterprises are more innovation intensive than larger enterprises, at least up to a limit of around 1,200 employees. The positive effect of R&D arises principally from increasing the probability of a plant becoming an innovator, rather than from making a plant more innovation intensive. By contrast, the importance of size lies principally in encouraging further innovations among plants which are already innovators, but less than proportionately with the increase in employment size. Copyright 1999 by Kluwer Academic Publishers

Date: 1999
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