Skip to main content
Article thumbnail
Location of Repository

Beyond formal R&D : taking advantage of other sources of innovation in low- and medium-technology industries.

By Lluís Santamaría, María Jesús Nieto and A. Barge


This study deepens our knowledge of critical success factors in the innovation process of low- andmediumtechnology (LMT) industries. To accomplish this, it explores howthe innovation process in LMT firms may depend on non-formal R&D activities and the use of external sources. The empirical analysis is based on a representative panel of Spanish manufacturing firms. The results strongly support the view that non- R&D activities such as design, the use of advanced machinery and training are crucial to understanding the innovation process of any firm. The study finds, however, that the impact of these activities is especially important in LMT industries, particularly for the achievement of product innovations. The empirical evidence also reveals the importance of external sources such as the use of consultants, the hiring of personnel, collaboration agreements and external R&D, with the greatest differences between LMT and high-technology (HT) firms being observed in process innovationsLow- and medium-technology industries; Technological activities; External sources; Innovation outputs; Market characteristics;

OAI identifier:

Suggested articles


  1. (1997). A catalytic and evolutionary approach to horizontal technology policies (HTPs).
  2. (1998). Absorptive capacity, coauthoring behaviour and the organization of research in drug discovery.
  3. (1990). Absorptive capacity: a new perspective of learning and innovation.
  4. (1996). Accessing external sources of technology.
  5. (2006). Adoption framework for advanced manufacturing technologies.
  6. (2005). Advanced manufacturing technology adoption: the German experience.
  7. (1997). Appropriability hazards and governance in strategic alliances: a transaction cost approach.
  8. (2006). Beyond high tech: early adopters of open innovation in other industries.
  9. (1995). Building bridges for innovation: the role of consultants in technology transfer.
  10. (1942). Capitalism, Socialism and Democracy. Harper and Row,
  11. (2003). Co-operative R&D: why and with whom?—an integrated framework of analysis.
  12. (2005). Collaboration and innovation: a review of the effects of mergers, acquisitions and alliances on innovation.
  13. (1990). Complementarity and external linkages: the strategies of the large firms in biotechnology.
  14. (2001). Consultants and experts in management consulting firms.
  15. (1996). Design, innovation and the boundaries of the firm.
  16. (2006). Determinants of product innovation in small firms: a comparison across industries.
  17. (2000). Diez a˜ nos de Encuesta sobre Estrategias Empresariales (ESEE).
  18. (1999). Do innovative activities matter to small firms in non R&D intensive industries?: an application to export performance.
  19. (1995). Empirical studies of innovative activity.
  20. (2005). External sources of knowledge, governance mode, and R&D performance.
  21. (2002). Firm resources as moderators of the relationshipbetweenmarketgrowthandstrategicalliancesinsemiconductorstart-ups.
  22. (2001). Firms’ motivations for cooperative R&D: an empirical analysis of Spanish firms.
  23. (1997). From technological potential to product performance: an empirical analysis.
  24. (2005). Innovation -On the development of a concept and its relevance in the knowledge economy. In: Hirsch-Kreinsen,
  25. (1996). Innovation and training.
  26. (2005). Innovation in ‘low-tech’ industries. In:
  27. (1982). Inside the Black Box: Technology and Economics.
  28. (1996). Inter-organizational collaboration and the locus of innovation: networks of learning in biotechnology.
  29. (1997). Know-how and asset complementarity and dynamic capability accumulation: the case of R&D.
  30. (1987). Knowledge and competence as strategic assets. In:
  31. (2005). Low and medium technology industries in the knowledge economy: the analytical issues. In: Hirsch-Kreinsen,
  32. (2006). Low-tech’ industries: innovativeness and development perspectives—a summary of a European research project.
  33. (1999). Make and buy in innovation strategies: evidence from Belgian manufacturing firms.
  34. (1982). Market Structure and Innovation.
  35. (2001). Mobility of engineers and cross-border knowledge building: the technological catching-up case of Korean and Taiwanese semiconductor firms.
  36. (2007). New wine in old bottles: technological diffusion in developed economies.
  37. (2005). Non-science based innovativeness: on capabilities relevant to generate profitable novelty.
  38. (2002). Open-market innovation.
  39. (2005). Organisational learning: knowledge management and training in low-tech and medium low-tech companies.
  40. (2004). Organizational choice in R&D alliances: knowledge-based and transaction cost perspectives.
  41. (1991). Organizational learning: the contributing processes and the literatures.
  42. (2002). Overcoming resource constraints on product innovation by recruiting talent from rivals: a study of the mutual fund industry,
  43. (2005). Patterns of innovation and skills in small firms.
  44. (2001). Product innovation and competitive advantage in an area of industrial decline: the Niagara region of Canada.
  45. (2007). R&D alliances and firm performance: the impact of technological diversity and alliance organization on innovation.
  46. (2002). R&D co-operation and spillovers: some empirical evidence from Belgium.
  47. (1996). R&D outsourcing and contractual governance: an empirical study of commercial R&D projects.
  48. (2007). Regional economic integration and R&D investment.
  49. (1996). Scale, scope and spillovers: the determinants of research productivity in drug discovery.
  50. (1984). Sectoral patterns of technical change: towards a taxonomy and a theory.
  51. (2005). Skills and innovation.
  52. (2007). Sources of external organisational learning in small manufacturing firms.
  53. (1992). Stretching the knowledge base of the enterprise through contract research.
  54. (2005). Structural change, growth and innovation: the roles of medium and low-tech industries,
  55. (2002). Technological innovation and interfirm cooperation: an exploratory analysis using survey data from manufacturing firms in the metropolitanregionofVienna.InternationalJournalofTechnologyManagement 24,
  56. (1991). Technology and Economic Development.
  57. (2005). Technology and the generation of international knowledge spillovers: an application to Spanish manufacturing firms.
  58. (1990). The core competences of the corporation.
  59. (1988). The diffusion of innovation: an interpretative survey. In:
  60. (2006). The dynamic creation of knowledge: analysing public–private collaborations.
  61. (1985). The Economic Institutions of Capitalism: Firms, Markets, Relational Contracting.
  62. (1994). The economics of technical change.
  63. (2005). The effect of general and partner-specific alliance experience on joint R&D project performance.
  64. (2007). The importance of diverse collaborative networks for the novelty of product innovation.
  65. (2006). The innovative performance of in-house and contracted R&D in terms of patents and utility models.
  66. (1988). The nature of innovative process.
  67. The New Production of Knowledge: The Dynamics of Science and Research in Contemporary societies. Sage Publications, London. Granstrand,O.,Bohlin,E.,Oskarsson,C.,Sjöberg,N.,1992.Externaltechnologyacquisition in large multi-technology corporations.
  68. (2002). The non-trivial choice between innovation indicators.
  69. (1990). The R&D boundaries of the firm: an empirical analysis.
  70. (2006). The role of technological management as a source of innovation: evidence from Spanish manufacturing firms.
  71. (2005). The role of university-based industrial extension services in the business performance of small manufacturing firms: case-study evidence from
  72. (2004). The sources of innovations: looking beyond technological opportunities.
  73. (1993). The use of external assistance by mature SMEs in the UK: some policy implications.
  74. (2007). The use of logit and probit models in strategic management research: critical issues.
  75. (2005). Towards a new understanding of innovativeness and of innovation based indicators.
  76. (1982). Towards an economic theory of the multiproduct firm.
  77. (2005). Two types of ‘low-tech’ sophistication: production techniques, product design and formal competence in Norwegian mechanical engineering. In: Hirsch-Kreinsen,
  78. (1999). What kind of knowledge can a firm absorb?
  79. (2002). Who co-operates for innovation, and why: an empirical analysis.
  80. (1997). Will low technology products disappear?: the hidden innovation processes in low technology industries.

To submit an update or takedown request for this paper, please submit an Update/Correction/Removal Request.