Based within the West Midlands region of England, the current paper considers the relative characteristic of product innovators and non-innovators along seven dimensions of strategy. Data was collected, by means of a remotely administered survey, as part of the development of a Regional Innovation Strategy and innovators were defined using a "rate of innovation" measure. Amongst the principal findings, innovators are found to: spend a significantly greater proportion of turnover on research and development; tend [marginally] towards greater internal control and reactivity; be more willing to assume long-term debt, but less likely to successfully access it; be more likely to have links with universities and support organisations and to depend upon a small number of customers for a significant component of total sales revenue. In addition, the pre-eminence of vertical value-chain linkages over horizontal or third party linkages is a further striking feature of the firms' articulation with their external environments.
Small Business Economics – Springer Journals
Published: Oct 8, 2004
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