The organisation of innovation: collaboration, cooperation and multifunctional groups in UK and German manufacturing

James H. Love, Stephen Roper

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Marked differences exist between the institutional and social context for innovation in the UK and Germany. The question addressed here is how these different contexts affect the objectives and organisation of innovation in UK and German manufacturing. In particular, the paper examines the extent to which UK and German plants engage in inter-plant collaboration and cooperation and multifunctional working as part of their innovative activity, and explores the reasons for differences in these patterns of involvement. The investigation is based on a large-scale, comparative survey of manufacturing plants in the two countries. In Germany, institutional and social norms are found to encourage collaborative inter-plant innovation, but aspects of the German skills training and industrial relations systems make the adoption of more flexible internal systems more difficult. In the UK, by contrast, the more adversarial nature of inter-firm relations makes it more difficult to establish external collaborations based on mutual trust, but less restrictive labour market structures make it easier for UK plants to adopt multifunctional working. This is linked to differences in attitudes to the property rights and transaction cost problems inherent in innovation.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)379-395
Number of pages17
JournalCambridge Journal of Economics
Volume28
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2004

Fingerprint

Innovation
Manufacturing
Germany
Inter-firm relations
Transaction costs
Social context
Labour market
Market structure
Social norms
Institutional context
Industrial relations
Property rights
Innovative activity
Skills training

Bibliographical note

This is a pre-copy-editing, author-produced PDF of an article accepted for publication in Cambridge journal of economics following peer review. The definitive publisher-authenticated version Love, J. H., & Roper, S. (2004). The organisation of innovation: collaboration, cooperation and multifunctional groups in UK and German manufacturing. Cambridge journal of economics, 28(3), 379-395 is available online at: http://cje.oxfordjournals.org/cgi/content/abstract/28/3/379

Keywords

  • organisation
  • innovation
  • institutions
  • property rights

Cite this

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The organisation of innovation : collaboration, cooperation and multifunctional groups in UK and German manufacturing. / Love, James H.; Roper, Stephen.

In: Cambridge Journal of Economics, Vol. 28, No. 3, 2004, p. 379-395.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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