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Title: Sectoral systems of innovation : assessing the effect of firm age and strategic intent on system fit
Author: McBride, Claire
ISNI:       0000 0004 5914 9424
Awarding Body: University of Warwick
Current Institution: University of Warwick
Date of Award: 2014
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Innovation is fundamental to the firm and ultimately to national economic growth and stability. Systemic support for identified sectors assumes that innovation depends not only on how individual firm and non-firm actors perform but also on the dynamics of their interaction as parts of a system. To date, research within the Sectoral System of Innovation framework perceived fit as a function of enablement between the firm and the system based on industry type. This is problematic as assuming firms are homogenous overlooks the impact of critical micro level contingencies such as age and strategic intent in achieving fit, and in turn enabling innovation. Consistent with theory that organisational performance is a function of the fit between two or more factors within a system, this thesis departs from previous macro and meso system-level approaches by undertaking a micro level analysis of how fit is mediated by age and strategy contingencies in two contrasting sectors. Using interview and survey data of Irish software and manufacturing engineering companies, this represents the first empirical analysis of contingency-based system fit. This study reveals a detachment between the universality implied in the design of Sectoral Systems of Innovation and the heterogeneity of firm context. Importantly, this finding provides strong evidence supporting previously intuitive calls for policy makers to place greater emphasis on firm dynamics. The findings in relation to firm age and strategic intent demonstrate that the nature of value creation hinges significantly on firm-level contingencies. This new departure extends current thinking on Systems of Innovation by clearly demonstrating the effects of firm-level characteristics, adding to the explanatory breadth of the existing framework. This contribution to theory has important implications for both firm managers and policy makers, enabling more effective interventions in their efforts to drive and support innovation outcomes.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: HD Industries. Land use. Labor