, Volume 27, Issue 2-3, pp 181-193

Determining Factors in Innovation of Small Firm Networks: A case of Cross Industry Groups in Japan

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We examine the relationship between network characteristics and innovation under different phases of innovation. Based on micro data of cross industry groups, small firm networks for knowledge sharing and R&D cooperation, we show that close-knit networks, represented as dense communication and a high level of commitment among members, are correlated with initiating joint product development. Furthermore, the results show that establishing contact with external sources of knowledge such as public research institutes is important to achieve technical success in innovation. Lastly, engaging in cooperative activities in sales is correlated with commercial success in innovation.