New publication in Asia Pacific Journal of Management: "Innovation in emerging economies: How do university-industry linkages and public procurement matter for small businesses?"
Innovation in emerging economies: How do university-industry linkages and public procurement matter for small businesses?, Cornelia Storz, Tobias ten Brink and Na Zou, 2021,
Asia Pacific Journal of Management,[published online: 03 June 2021]
Abstract: Small businesses face major challenges to becoming more innovative. These challenges are particularly prevalent in emerging economies where high uncertainties are a barrier to innovation. We know from previous studies that linkages to universities, on the one hand, and public procurement, on the other, support large and innovative firms in their efforts to become more innovative. However, we do not know whether these positive effects also hold true for small businesses. In this paper, we focus on how policy strategies reducing information, market and financial uncertainties shape small businesses’ innovation in China. Based on a sample of 926 small businesses derived from the World Bank Enterprises Survey in China (2012), we find that university-industry linkages enhance innovation, though only when it comes to minor forms of innovation. In line with the resource-based view of the firm, this effect is stronger for small businesses with higher capabilities. Moreover, we show that bidding for or delivering contracts to public sector clients has a positive effect on innovation, and in particular of major forms of innovation. In the bidding selection process, private firms and firms with higher capabilities are selected. Our findings show that both policy strategies have enhanced innovation, though with different effects on the degree of novelty. We attribute this finding to the different degrees of uncertainties they address.