Measuring User Innovation: What Can a Standard Innovation Survey Tell Us?

35 Pages Posted: 8 May 2010  

Stephane Lhuillery

ICN Business School ; University of Strasbourg - Bureau of Economic Theory and Application (BETA)

Marcel Bogers

University of Copenhagen - Department of Food and Resource Economics (IFRO)

Date Written: November 12, 2006

Abstract

In this paper, we explore the amount and impact of firms that can be considered being user innovators. Using the Swiss Innovation Survey, we identify a sample of innovative firms that we explore with regard to their commitment to R&D. We thereby create a measure for informal innovation—that is, innovation not explicitly planned and budgeted—by identifying innovative firms that do not conduct any R&D. We argue that user innovators are the main source of such technological innovation and propose two methods to measure the usually hidden (informal) activities. First, by defining user innovators as non-R&D innovators, we show that they comprise 46% of all innovating firms. Furthermore, they represent more than one third of the economic impact induced by product and process innovations. A second method defines user innovators as over-innovators in an innovation function. Exploring the residuals, we show that user innovators in process technology comprise about 38% of process innovating firms and that they represent 37% of reduced costs in the economy. Furthermore, for these user innovators, 40% of costs reductions are found to be induced by users (within the firms). Thus, about 15% of the overall cost reductions in the economy comes from user innovation within firms.

JEL Classification: O31, C34, C35, C81

Suggested Citation

Lhuillery, Stephane and Bogers, Marcel, Measuring User Innovation: What Can a Standard Innovation Survey Tell Us? (November 12, 2006). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1594038 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1594038

Stephane Lhuillery

ICN Business School ( email )

13 rue du Marechal Ney
Nancy, 54000
France

University of Strasbourg - Bureau of Economic Theory and Application (BETA) ( email )

France

Marcel Bogers (Contact Author)

University of Copenhagen - Department of Food and Resource Economics (IFRO) ( email )

Unit for Innovation, Entrepreneurship & Management
Rolighedsvej 25
Copenhagen, 1958
Denmark

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