Title: Antecedents of R&D performance at small and medium enterprises

Authors: Bowon Kim; Sunghak Kim

Addresses: Operations Strategy and Management Science, KAIST Business School, 130-722 Seoul, Korea ' Operations Strategy and Management Science, KAIST Business School, 130-722 Seoul, Korea

Abstract: To examine what factors determine R&D performance at small and medium enterprises (SMEs), we propose a research framework, consisting of antecedents of R&D performance. We put forward two types of antecedents, organisational factors and R&D input factors. In our framework, there are three organisational factors, i.e., formal R&D organisation unit, R&D incentive mechanism, and technology protection unit, and two R&D input factors, i.e., R&D investment per R&D person and R&D personnel ratio (R&D personnel to the total number of employees). In addition, we use two control variables, firm size and firm age. Analysing 2,807 SME manufacturing companies in Korea, we conclude as follows. Controlling for firm size and age, SME's R&D performance is positively affected by SME's having a formal organisational unit for protecting proprietary technology and the two R&D input factors. SME's having a formal R&D organisation unit has a significant effect on R&D performance when either uncontrolled or controlled for firm age only. It turns out that SME's having a formal R&D incentive mechanism does not have any significant effect on R&D performance. We discuss the managerial implications of the analysis results.

Keywords: small and medium enterprise; SME; R&D performance; innovation; entrepreneurial spirit; technology protection; R&D investment.

DOI: 10.1504/IJTTC.2017.087637

International Journal of Technology Transfer and Commercialisation, 2017 Vol.15 No.2, pp.139 - 159

Available online: 20 Oct 2017 *

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