Doing More with Less: The Disordinal Implications of Firm Age for Leveraging Capabilities for Innovation Activity

22 Pages Posted: 29 Sep 2011

See all articles by Michael C. Withers

Michael C. Withers

University of Alabama

Paul Louis Drnevich

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Louis Marino

University of Alabama - Culverhouse College of Commerce & Business Administration

Date Written: October 2011

Abstract

Innovation requires the entrepreneurial capabilities of opportunity recognition and opportunity exploitation. Such capabilities generally accrue over time from a firm's cumulative learning and experience. In this study, we theorize that firm age should therefore moderate the firm's ability to leverage these capabilities for innovation activity, such that older firms can obtain higher outputs from their capabilities than younger firms can. We examine this relationship using a sample of 676 small and medium enterprises. We find that when both younger and older firms have highly developed innovation capabilities, older firms appear to enjoy higher levels of innovation activity than younger firms do. However, younger firms generally appear more likely to have higher levels of innovation activity than older firms do, when neither firm has highly developed innovation capabilities. We conclude with a discussion of the implications of these findings for research and practice.

Suggested Citation

Withers, Michael C. and Drnevich, Paul Louis and Marino, Louis, Doing More with Less: The Disordinal Implications of Firm Age for Leveraging Capabilities for Innovation Activity (October 2011). Journal of Small Business Management, Vol. 49, Issue 4, pp. 515-536, 2011, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1935232 or http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1540-627X.2011.00334.x

Michael C. Withers (Contact Author)

University of Alabama ( email )

101 Paul W. Bryant Dr.
Box 870382
Tuscaloosa, AL 35487
United States

Paul Louis Drnevich

affiliation not provided to SSRN

No Address Available

Louis Marino

University of Alabama - Culverhouse College of Commerce & Business Administration ( email )

Culverhouse College of Business
Tuscaloosa, AL 35487-0223
United States

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