Empirical Economics

, Volume 56, Issue 5, pp 1707–1727 | Cite as

Does innovative effort matter for corporate performance in Spanish companies in a context of financial crisis? A fuzzy-set QCA approach

  • Carmen González-VelascoEmail author
  • Marcos González-Fernández
  • José-Luis Fanjul-Suárez


The aim of this paper is to examine whether innovative effort is a key driver of the financial performance of a set of 3860 Spanish companies in a context of financial crisis. For this purpose, we use contrarian case analysis and configural analysis using fuzzy-set qualitative comparative analysis to test the main tenets of complexity theory: (1) innovative effort, as a single antecedent condition, is not a sufficient or necessary factor of a high score in corporate performance; (2) a few possible configurations lead to high corporate performance (equifinality principle); (3) contrarian cases occur; and (4) causal configurations for high scores for corporate performance are not the mirror opposites of causal configurations for low scores for corporate performance (causal asymmetry principle). The findings suggest that innovative effort, as a single antecedent condition, is not a sufficient or necessary factor for a high score in corporate performance.


Innovation Corporate performance fsQCA Contrarian case analysis Configural analysis Complexity theory 

JEL Classification

L25 O31 G39 



The authors would like to show their gratitude for the suggestions and comments received from Arch G. Woodside.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Carmen González-Velasco
    • 1
    Email author
  • Marcos González-Fernández
    • 1
  • José-Luis Fanjul-Suárez
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Business Economics and Management, Faculty of Economics and BusinessUniversity of LeónLeónSpain

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