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Seminar - The more, the better? Examining international involvement and innovation in German SMEs

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Event information
Date 3 March 2021
Time 13:00-14:00 (Timezone: Europe/London)
Price Free
Venue Online
Event types:

You are cordially invited to attend a research seminar by Jill Juergensen, Henley Business School. Follow the link in your calendar email invitations(Join Microsoft Teams Meeting) to join the seminar on Wednesday, 3rd March at 13.00.


Findings on the so-called learning-to-innovate-by-exporting (LIBE) effect remain inconclusive. Our study sheds light on the nature of the relationship between international involvement and subsequent innovation output of German mid-sized manufacturing firms. Based on panel data from the European Community Innovation Survey (CIS), we empirically find that the LIBE effect at the firm-level is non-linear and follows an inverted U-shape, suggesting that there are diminishing returns to LIBE. Additionally, we confirm the positive moderating effects of a firm’s internal organizational innovation efforts, as well as a broad geographic orientation. We contribute to the literature by showing that resource-scarce firms experience internal constraints to realizing potential LIBE effects. We further highlight potential solutions to these limits to LIBE; namely, a clear commitment to internal organizational change through organizational innovation efforts and following a broad geographic orientation. Overall, our study suggests that more international involvement does not necessarily translate into more innovation output. On the other hand, more commitment to internal change, as exporting levels rise, and a more diverse international environment act as important mechanisms for LIBE.