The authors thank the editor, Professor Massimo Colombo, and the two anonymous reviewers for their helpful comments and suggestions. This study has been financially supported by projects SECJ2007-67582-C02-02/ECON and CCG08-UC3M/HUM-4152. The usual disclaimer applies.
Technological Collaboration: Bridging the Innovation Gap between Small and Large Firms*
Article first published online: 16 DEC 2009
© 2009 International Council for Small Business
Journal of Small Business Management
Volume 48, Issue 1, pages 44–69, January 2010
How to Cite
Nieto, M. J. and Santamaría, L. (2010), Technological Collaboration: Bridging the Innovation Gap between Small and Large Firms. Journal of Small Business Management, 48: 44–69. doi: 10.1111/j.1540-627X.2009.00286.x
María Jesús Nieto is an Associate Professor at the Management and Strategic Division, University Carlos III of Madrid, Spain. Her current research interests include innovation management, strategic alliances, and internationalization strategy, specially focused on SMEs. She has also made recent contributions on information technology.
Lluís Santamaría is an Assistant Professor at the Department of Business Administration, University Carlos III of Madrid, Spain. His current research interests include innovation management, technological cooperation, and comparative institutional analysis. He also studies the management of intangibles and accounting information systems.
- Issue published online: 16 DEC 2009
- Article first published online: 16 DEC 2009
This paper analyzes how technological collaboration acts as an input to the innovation process and allows small and medium-sized enterprises to bridge the innovation gap with their bigger counterparts. Based on a large longitudinal sample of Spanish manufacturing firms, the results show that though technological collaboration is a useful mechanism for firms of all sizes to improve innovativeness, it is a critical factor for the smallest firms. The impact of this collaboration varies depending on innovation output and type of partner. Specifically, the impact of collaboration in small and medium-sized firms is more significant for product than process innovations. Regarding type of partner, vertical collaboration—with suppliers and clients—has the greatest impact on firm innovativeness, though this effect is clearer for medium-sized enterprises than for the smallest firms.