This article integrates internationalisation, and specifically exporting, into a conceptualisation of how innovation production leads to productivity performance in microbusinesses employing less than ten people. Innovation production is reframed for the microbusiness context by focusing on knowledge acquisition and formalisation rather than on R&D activity. Propensity score matching analysis is used to investigate British microbusiness survey data. It finds a causal process in which innovation promotes exporting activity. This in turn leads to improved productivity. In contrast to research on larger businesses, the study finds no direct link between innovation production and productivity. These findings are robust to various checks for potential endogeneity arising from feedback into innovation from internationalisation and from self-selection of high productivity firms into exporting.
Bibliographical note© Sage 2019. The final publication is available via Sage at http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0266242619893938
- Microbusiness, innovation, productivity, exporting, knowledge acquisition