The Role of Non-R&D Driven Innovation. To what extent do non-R&D practices enhance the innovation performance of a company?

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The objective of this thesis is to examine the role of non-R&D practices in the context of innovation performance. By drawing on new growth theorists, this study aims at explaining the role of non-R&D practices (including the two elements employee-driven innovation (EDI) and non-R&D cooperation) which are claimed as important sources for innovation by some researchers (e.g. Høyrup, 2010; Martin & Sunley, 1998; Kesting & Parm Ulhøi, 2010). There are different types of innovation, however, this study focuses on product innovation. The foundation for this study was a sample of 179 Dutch companies that was taken from the European Manufacturing Survey conducted by Frauenhofer Institut in 2015. These surveyed firms needed to be economically active, have at least 10 or more employees and operate in the manufacturing sector. It was tested if EDI and non-R&D cooperation show an autonomous positive effect on innovation performance. Additionally, the interaction effect of both and their interaction effects with internal R&D and R&D cooperation were investigated. The autonomous effect of non-R&D cooperation and the interaction effects are based on the assumption that knowledge spillover can lead to an enhanced innovation performance when processed adequately. Furthermore, knowledge spillovers are greater if R&D is present (Audretsch & Lehmann, 2005; Audretsch, & Keilbach, 2008) which justifies the tested interaction effects with R&D practices. This knowledge spillovers entail not only spread knowledge but also absorptive capacity, defined as the filtering of relevant information and application of this information into the creation of innovation (Cohen & Levinthal, 1990). The statistical analysis of logistic regression showed that none of the assumed effects, neither autonomous or interaction effects, are significant; meaning no significant effects of non-R&D practices on the product innovation performance could be found.
Faculteit der Managementwetenschappen