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Title: Testing for the effects of organisational and individual cognitive-distance in small business and creative industries innovation partnerships
Author: Morley, Lorraine
ISNI:       0000 0004 5371 1770
Awarding Body: University of Warwick
Current Institution: University of Warwick
Date of Award: 2015
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This thesis is concerned with understanding how the similarities, or differences, between small businesses working on transactional open-innovation projects might affect the dyadic performance. Specifically it explores whether varying degrees of difference, both at the organisational-level and at the individual personal-level, affects innovation performance and whether there is a ‘trade-off’ in innovation outcomes somewhere between high levels of similarity and difference. Empirical studies of similarity and difference have conflicting findings and most research into the particular condition of similarity and difference have taken place between multi-national businesses or in industries that have more formal innovation agendas, such as bio-technology or ICT. Additionally prior research has tended to evaluate a potential linear relationship between similarity variables and innovation performance. The study here draws on the Cognitive Theory of the Firm (Nooteboom, 2003) and its conceptual model of ‘cognitive distance’ which proposes that there is an inverted U-shaped relationship between the degree of difference in an innovation partnership and the innovation performance. It suggests a tipping point where performance improves up to a threshold and then begins to decline. The sample group is drawn from a cohort of small businesses based in the North-West of England taking part in an innovation voucher scheme designed to encourage linkages between small businesses and creative services suppliers. An analytical framework based on different measures and types of similarity is developed by reviewing a broad range of literature on innovation, open-innovation and small business innovation and these measures are used to assess innovation success against a range of six performance indicators. A major contribution of the research is the extension of the empirical domain for cognitive distance to the small and micro-business sector and further, the creation of a methodology which allows cognitive-distance to be directly measured, and performance assessed, at the level of the individuals within the innovation partnership. The relativity small sample group and the quite specific context requires the findings to be further corroborated but if results found here prove valid with other sample groups and within other contexts too, there may be implications in the future for how small firms might go about selecting their innovation partners.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: National Endowment for Science, Technology and the Arts
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: HD Industries. Land use. Labor