Institute for Business Administration, University of Muenster Department of Chemistry and Pharmacy
Journal of Business Chemistry vol:9 issue:3 pages:117-132
This paper relates the practice of open innovation in small R&D active chemical companies to firm performance in terms of employment and financial position. This relationship is examined during a period of economic downturn and applied to the Belgian situation. The Belgian case is interesting since it is characterised by a high economic importance of the chemical industry and a strongly developed national (eco-) innovation system in the sector. According to their different evolution over the last decade, a distinction is made between basic chemicals and pharmaceuticals. In terms of open innovation strategy, a distinction is made between companies innovating completely internally (closed innovators), firms engaged in R&D outsourcing, firms engaged in research cooperation, and firms integrating outsourcing and cooperation in their knowledge sourcing strategy. After controlling for a broad range of R&D characteristics, we found that firms engaged in outsourcing or having an integrated open innovation approach performed better in terms of the evolution of employment during the period 2005-2010. Also, the analysis revealed firms having a formal R&D manager and a long-term research vision more often combine average to strong employment growth with a prosperous financial position.