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The effect of openness to external knowledge sources for innovation on smes’ financial performance
Titolo Rivista: MERCATI E COMPETITIVITÀ 
Autori/Curatori: Claudio Giachetti, Carlo Bagnoli 
Anno di pubblicazione:  2015 Fascicolo: Lingua: Inglese 
Numero pagine:  22 P. 65-86 Dimensione file:  127 KB
DOI:  10.3280/MC2015-004004
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In today’s environment an increasing number of firms are changing the way they search for new knowledge for innovation. These firms are adopting open search strategies that involve the use of external knowledge sources. Some authors suggest that these models of "open innovation" allow firms to improve their performance. However, in the specific context of SMEs, although their internal resource constrains emphasize the importance of external sources of knowledge, the lack of substantial inhouse capacity to recognize, evaluate, negotiate, and finally adapt the knowledge available from external actors may reduce its potential. Is then external knowledge sourcing really an effective strategy for enhancing the performance of innovative SMEs? In this study we elaborate on the concept of "openness to external knowledge sources for innovation", referring to the extent to which firms draw intensively from a wide range of different external sources of knowledge for their innovation activities, and we analyze its impact on SMEs’ financial performance. Using a sample of 281 SMEs situated in the north-east of Italy, the findings of this study show that there is an inverted U-shape relationship between the level of openness to external sources of knowledge and the financial performance.

Nell’odierno scenario competitivo un crescente numero di imprese sta cambiando il modo in cui cercare la conoscenza necessaria per innovare. Diverse imprese stanno infatti adottando strategie basate sulla ricerca di conoscenza da fonti esterne. Alcuni autori suggeriscono che questi modelli di "innovazione aperta" consentono alle imprese di migliorare le loro performance. Tuttavia, nello specifico contesto delle piccole e medie imprese (PMI), nonostante la loro mancanza di risorse interne amplifichi la necessità di utilizzare fonti esterne di conoscenza, l’incapacità di riconoscere, valutare, negoziare ed adattare la conoscenza disponibile da attori esterni, può ridurre il loro potenziale. La scelta di avvalersi di fonti di conoscenza esterne per l’innovazione, è dunque una strategia efficace per migliorare le performance delle PMI? Il focus di questo articolo è sull’"apertura a fonti esterne di conoscenza per l’innovazione", ovvero il grado con cui le imprese si avvalgono di un ampio numero di diverse fonti di conoscenza per le loro attività di innovazione, ed il suo impatto sulle performance finanziarie delle PMI. Utilizzando un campione di 281 PMI situate nel nord-est italiano, i risultati di questo studio mostrano che esiste una relazione ad U-rovesciata tra il livello di apertura a fonti esterne di conoscenza per l’innovazione e le performance finanziarie delle PMI.
Keywords: Fonti esterne di conoscenza, innovazione aperta, performance finanziarie, PMI

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Claudio Giachetti, Carlo Bagnoli, in "MERCATI E COMPETITIVITÀ" 4/2015, pp. 65-86, DOI:10.3280/MC2015-004004

   

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