Technological diversification within UK’s small serial innovators

Technological diversification within UK’s small serial innovators This paper investigates the determinants of technological diversification among UK’s small serial innovators (SSIs). Using a longitudinal study of 339 UK-based small businesses accounting for almost 7000 patents between 1990 and 2006, this study constitutes the first empirical examination of technological diversification among SMEs in the literature. Results demonstrate that technological diversification is not solely a large firm activity, challenging the dominant view that innovative SMEs are extremely focused and specialised players with little technological diversification. Our findings suggest a nonlinear (i.e. inverse-U-shaped) relationship between the level of technological opportunities in the environment and the SSIs’ degree of technological diversification. This points to a trade-off between processes of exploration and exploitation across increasingly volatile technology regimes. The paper also demonstrates that small firms with impactful innovations focus their innovative activity around similar technological capabilities while firms that have introduced platform technologies in the past are more likely to engage in technological diversification. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Small Business Economics Springer Journals

Technological diversification within UK’s small serial innovators

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Publisher
Springer US
Copyright
Copyright © 2016 by The Author(s)
Subject
Business and Management; Management; Microeconomics; Entrepreneurship; Industrial Organization
ISSN
0921-898X
eISSN
1573-0913
D.O.I.
10.1007/s11187-015-9698-1
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

This paper investigates the determinants of technological diversification among UK’s small serial innovators (SSIs). Using a longitudinal study of 339 UK-based small businesses accounting for almost 7000 patents between 1990 and 2006, this study constitutes the first empirical examination of technological diversification among SMEs in the literature. Results demonstrate that technological diversification is not solely a large firm activity, challenging the dominant view that innovative SMEs are extremely focused and specialised players with little technological diversification. Our findings suggest a nonlinear (i.e. inverse-U-shaped) relationship between the level of technological opportunities in the environment and the SSIs’ degree of technological diversification. This points to a trade-off between processes of exploration and exploitation across increasingly volatile technology regimes. The paper also demonstrates that small firms with impactful innovations focus their innovative activity around similar technological capabilities while firms that have introduced platform technologies in the past are more likely to engage in technological diversification.

Journal

Small Business EconomicsSpringer Journals

Published: Jan 30, 2016

References

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