Innovative strategies and their impact on the National Innovation System dynamics

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Suárez, Diana
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Innovation is defined as a social and iterative process; as a consequence, nobody innovates in an isolated way (Lundvall, 1992). However, when analyzing innovation surveys, evidence seems to contradict theory. Both in developing countries and in developed ones, the rate of linkages established among the different agents of the National Innovation System is low (Anlló & Suárez, 2008; Suárez, 2007; Tether, 2000) Particularly in Latin American countries, a historically lack of articulation between firms and science and technology institutions has been observed (Lugones & Suárez, 2006). The present document is an attempt to go deeper in understanding the linkages determinants and innovation dynamics. Therefore, an analysis regarding the linkages between firms and the other agents of the National Innovation System for the Argentine case is developed here. This study is part of a broader project framed within a research related to the doctorate thesis by the one who write in here, under the supervision of Gustavo Lugones. The main hypothesis of the doctorate project considers that there exist differentiated behaviours in respect of competitiveness search. In that sense, innovation, as a strategy, is just one of many possibilities. Moreover, despite sustainable in the long term, innovation is many times unprofitable in the short one, especially in less developed countries where the market failures and macroeconomic instability are not the exception but the rule. This paper is also the continuity of a project already presented in Globelics México 2008, where innovative behaviours of the Argentine manufacturer firms were identified and characterized (Lugones, Suárez & Moldován, 2008). In this study, a group of firms with a virtuous innovative strategy was identified and this group was different from the rest because of the intensity and continuity of innovative expenditures. It was also possible to identify that another group –not that small- of Argentine firms could survive to one of the worst economic crises with no efforts at all on innovation activities. The econometrical analysis showed that there is a positive relation between expenditure intensity and labour productivity together with a positive relation between this intensity and salaries (Lugones, Suárez & Moldován, 2008). So, because this innovative firms are the ones that obtain the best results regarding performance and income, what is expected to know here is whether that particular innovative dynamic could be related to a particular linkages setting or not. Then, the objective of this paper is to analyze of the first group of firms mentioned above. It aims at studying those firms and their relationship between with the National Innovation System. This does not imply giving less importance to the interaction and dynamic of non innovative firms, which are, certainly, part of the broader study. What is expected here is to demonstrate how a particular innovative dynamic impacts on the rest of the system. If these firms with a virtuous strategy are developing a more technological complex innovation then to them to require a deeper articulation with the knowledge supply and a bigger feedback of their supply chain is expectable. The first ones because of their condition of suppliers of one of the key inputs (knowledge) and the latter for being either suppliers of raw materials and machinery or recipients of that innovations. If these hypotheses are true, then if those behaviours are fostered to combine entrepreneurial development with social profitability by the creation of synergies in the national innovation system (through linkages) could be possible. The document is structured in three parts. After this short introduction, in section 1 the dataset and the methodology are presented. The results and main findings of the model are discussed in section 2. Finally, some conclusions are provided.
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