Serial innovators in the UK: does size matter?

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Authors

Colleges, School and Institutes

External organisations

  • Warwick Business School, University of Warwick
  • Nottingham Business School, Nottingham Trent University

Abstract

This article aims to shed light on the presence and importance of a significant number of small firms amongst serial innovators. Contrary to the common expectation in the innovative persistence literature, we posit that small serial innovators also benefit from operating within patterns of creative accumulation. However, it is in the quality of the technology and in the very nature of the knowledge accumulation process that the differences between small and large serial innovators can be found. Using a sample of 811 UK-based, highly innovative companies that patented over 66,000 inventions from 1990 to 2006, we find evidence in support of our theory. While large serial innovators experience higher innovation rates due to the scale of their innovation efforts, small serial innovators benefit more from processes of search depth characterized by the internal recombination of their previous knowledge. We find that important differences exist also in the very nature of the technologies being developed by small and large serial innovators.

Details

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)23-47
Number of pages25
JournalIndustrial and Corporate Change
Volume25
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 8 Feb 2015