This paper explores the main drivers of firms' external competitiveness in times of crisis. We focus on the aftermath of the Great Recession (2008-2015) and present evidence based on a comprehensive survey of Italian companies (the MET dataset). Overall, our results highlight not only the strict correlation between internationalization and innovative activities but also a positive change of attitude of Italian firms towards these strategies. We show that, while structural factors play a key role for external competitiveness, other critical aspects trigger superior performances, especially strategic profiles, technological capabilities, and proactive behaviors such as innovativeness and R&D investment. Importantly, we document disproportionate effects of innovation for smaller and less productive companies. This points at dynamic strategies as a potential tool to fill the gap between larger/more productive companies and the set of less structured firms, a segment representing an ideal target for policy measures.

Innovation drivers of external competitiveness in the great recession

Brancati, Emanuele;Zanfei, Antonello
2021

Abstract

This paper explores the main drivers of firms' external competitiveness in times of crisis. We focus on the aftermath of the Great Recession (2008-2015) and present evidence based on a comprehensive survey of Italian companies (the MET dataset). Overall, our results highlight not only the strict correlation between internationalization and innovative activities but also a positive change of attitude of Italian firms towards these strategies. We show that, while structural factors play a key role for external competitiveness, other critical aspects trigger superior performances, especially strategic profiles, technological capabilities, and proactive behaviors such as innovativeness and R&D investment. Importantly, we document disproportionate effects of innovation for smaller and less productive companies. This points at dynamic strategies as a potential tool to fill the gap between larger/more productive companies and the set of less structured firms, a segment representing an ideal target for policy measures.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11576/2696954
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