The Opposite Effects of R&D Cooperation on Technological and Financial Performance in SMEs
30 Pages Posted: 12 Jun 2018
Date Written: May 24, 2018
This study analyzed the role of R&D cooperation in small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), specifically, the mediating effects of R&D cooperation between firm size and two types of performance: technological and financial performance. In addition, we investigated how spontaneity of R&D cooperation influences the relation between firm size and R&D cooperation in the context of national R&D projects. Our empirical analysis included approximately 13,000 SME-supporting programs for three years, from 2013 to 2015. The results showed that R&D cooperation had mediating but opposite effects on the relationship between firm size and the two types of performance. While R&D cooperation had a positive effect on financial performance, it had a negative effect on technological performance. We conclude that the goal of R&D cooperation should be determined before conducting or supporting R&D cooperation in SMEs. Also, we verified that spontaneity had a moderating effect on the relationship between firm size and R&D cooperation; it strengthened the positive relation. Ours is also the only paper to analyze the effects of this variable on two types of performance at the same time. As the role of SMEs evolves, the findings of this study provide valuable information for both policy makers and researchers.
Keywords: SME, R&D cooperation, firm size, spontaneity, performance
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation