Differences in Innovator and Non-innovator Profiles: Small Establishments in Business Services - ARCHIVED

Articles and reports: 11F0019M2000143


This paper explores differences between innovative and non-innovative establishments in business service industries. It focuses on small establishments that supply core technical inputs to other firms: establishments in computer and related services, engineering, and other scientific and technical services.

The analysis begins by examining the incidence of innovation within the small firm population. Forty percent of small businesses report introducing new or improved products, processes or organizational forms. Among these businesses, product innovation dominates over process or organizational change. A majority of these establishments reveal an ongoing commitment to innovation programs by introducing innovations on a regular basis. By contrast, businesses that do not introduce new or improved products, processes or organizational methods reveal little supporting evidence of innovation activity.

The paper then investigates differences in strategic intensity between innovative and non-innovative businesses. Innovators attach greater importance to financial management and capital acquisition. Innovators also place more emphasis on recruiting skilled labour and on promoting incentive compensation. These distinctions are sensible - among small firms in R&D-intensive industries, financing and human resource competencies play a critical role in the innovation process.

A final section examines whether the obstacles to innovation differ between innovators and non-innovators. Innovators are more likely to report difficulties related to market success, imitation, and skill restrictions. Evidence of learning-by-doing is more apparent within a multivariate framework. The probability of encountering risk-related obstacles and input restrictions is higher among establishments that engage in R&D and use intellectual property rights, both key elements of the innovation process. Many obstacles to innovation are also more apparent for businesses that stress financing, marketing, production or human resource strategies.

Issue Number: 2000143
Author(s): Gellatly, Guy
FormatRelease dateMore information
PDFJanuary 25, 2000

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