Complementarity and substitution between innovation and internationalization activities in small and medium enterprises. An Empirical investigation
Innovation and internationalization activities (e.g. exports) are crucial factors sustaining short and long-term growth in Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs). Despite their relevance, past research has mainly analysed the effect of those two activities on SME performance in isolation. Only recently, scholars have begun to explore the complementarity between innovation and internationalization activities in the context of SMEs. However, the overall picture about the conjunct effect of exports and innovation is still scant and blurred: some studies point to a complementarity between them, while others to a substitution effect.
Our work contributes to shed more light on this relationship. Specifically, in this seminar we theoretically discuss the contingent (e.g. firm’s age) and strategic factors (e.g. openness to innovation partners, international experience) enabling complementarity and substitution between internationalization and innovation. Empirically we test these issues on two samples of SMEs operating in Italy and Spain. Particular emphasis will be given to a recent study linking import to export and innovation as further international activity. In this vein, sequential complementarity of activities will be discussed as critical factor for SMEs to reach superior growth.
Daniele Battaglia is Ph.D. candidate at the Department of Management and Production Engineering at Politecnico di Torino. He has obtained his Master degree in Management Engineering at Politecnico di Torino and he has been visiting Ph.D. student at IESE Business School, in Spain. His main research interests are in the field of Small and Medium Enterprise (SME) growth, and in the strategic management of innovation and internationalization. In particular, he is currently investigating the combined effect of internal R&D activities and exports on SMEs growth as topic of his Ph.D. thesis.
In addition - besides research related to his PhD - he is also interested in research in the field of University-Industry Technology Transfer and Entrepreneurial Education.
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