Full citation

Amara, N., & Landry, R. (2005). Sources of Information as Determinants of Novelty of Innovation in Manufacturing Firms: Evidence from the 1999 Statistics Canada Innovation Survey. Technovation, 25(3), 245-259.

Format: Peer-reviewed article

Type: Research — Non-experimental

Experience level of reader: Fundamental

Annotation: Paper considers the relative contribution to the novelty of a new product or process innovation from each of four sources of information: 1) Internal; 2) Market; 3) Research; 4) Generally available. The findings show that firms that access a larger variety of information sources generate more novel innovations than those focusing on one or few sources of information.

Setting(s) to which the reported activities/findings are relevant: Federal lab, Government, Large business, Small business (less than 500 employees), University

Knowledge user(s) to whom the piece of literature may be relevant: Manufacturers, Researchers

Knowledge user level addressed by the literature: Organization

This article uses the Commercial Devices and Services version of the NtK Model

Primary Findings

Carriers:

  • Policy Implications of Findings: In order to foster novelty of innovation in manufacturing firms, policy makers should continue to provide incentives regarding R&D, collaborative arrangements, and more generally, to provide a large variety of government support programs.
    Secondary analysis of data gathered in a national survey of 5,455 firms in Canada.
    Occurrence of finding within the model: Stage 2
  • Policy Implications of Findings: The level of novelty in innovations can be increased via policies that promote stronger linkages between firms and government laboratories and universities, whereas incremental changes might be more efficiently influenced by stronger linkages between firms and market sources of information.
    Secondary analysis of data gathered in a national survey of 5,455 firms in Canada.
    Occurrence of finding within the model: Stage 2

Methods:

  • There are four categories of information sources: 1) Internal; 2) Market; 3) Research; 4) Generally available. Firms that access a larger variety of sources tend to generate more novel innovations than firms that access one or few sources.
    Secondary analysis of data gathered in a national survey of 5,455 firms in Canada.
    Occurrence of finding within the model: Stage 2
  • As expected, R&D, collaborative arrangements, large firms, use of a large variety of government support programs, and operation in industries of high technological intensity had a positive effect on level of novelty in innovations.
    Secondary analysis of data gathered in a national survey of 5,455 firms in Canada.
    Occurrence of finding within the model: Stage 2
  •  Innovations embodying more radical changes in products or processes require more research-based information than incremental changes that can be implemented with market sources of information.
    Secondary analysis of data gathered in a national survey of 5,455 firms in Canada.
    Occurrence of finding within the model: Stage 2

Secondary Findings

Model: Innovations do not result from discrete events, but primarily through problem-solving processes.1 (Dosi [1982])
Occurrence of finding within the model: Stage 1

Methods:

  • Small high technology firms which have introduced major product and process innovations are more likely than others to rely on external sources regarding science laboratories, universities and public financial institutions. (Romijn & Albu [2001])
    Occurrence of finding within the model: Stage 2
  • Innovations are not only determined by factors internal to firms, but also by interactive processes involving relationships between firms with different actors of their environment. (Kline & Rosenberg [1986])
    Occurrence of finding within the model: Stage 2
  • Firms which have introduced innovations with higher degrees of novelty are more likely than other innovative firms to rely on external sources of information to develop or improve their products or processes. (Tether [2000])
    Occurrence of finding within the model: Stage 2