Title: How firms use external knowledge to improve innovation performance. Evidence from Polish manufacturing industry

Authors: Tomasz Kijek

Addresses: University of Life Sciences, Akademicka 13, 20-950 Lublin, Poland

Abstract: This paper explores the relationship between external knowledge acquisition (EKA) and a firm's innovation performance. In our analysis, the two-equation knowledge production function is applied. In the first step, a firm's decision on the intensity of investment in the EKA is modelled. The model includes technological opportunities and two main elements of the firm's innovation capital, i.e., R&D-based capital and employees' knowledge, as the regressors. In the second step, there is an attempt to find the effect of the intensity of the EKA on the propensity to introduce both product and process innovations. The analysis is based on a large sample of 2,960 manufacturing firms. The micro data have been derived from the Polish Community Innovation Survey, which explores the innovation activities of firms. The methods used in the research are the Tobit and the bivariate Probit models. The results show that the intensity of the EKA depends on the firm's access to institutional knowledge sources, i.e., universities and research centres, and on employees' knowledge. In turn, innovation performance is positively affected by the intensity of the EKA, but this impact is sensitive to the innovation type.

Keywords: external knowledge; knowledge acquisition; innovation capital; innovation performance; absorptive capacity; knowledge production function; KPF; Poland; manufacturing industry; modelling; technological opportunities; innovation capital; R&D; research and development; employee knowledge; product innovation; process innovation; institutional knowledge sources; universities; research centres.

DOI: 10.1504/IJIL.2016.077841

International Journal of Innovation and Learning, 2016 Vol.20 No.2, pp.185 - 198

Received: 18 May 2015
Accepted: 06 Jun 2015

Published online: 17 Jul 2016 *

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