This study proposes a framework that aims to explain why successive changes in industry leadership (called also the catch-up cycle) occur over time in a sector. In catch-up cycles, latecomer firms and countries emerge as international leaders, whereas incumbents lose their previous positions. New leaders are then dethroned by newcomers. To identify factors at the base of catch-up cycles, this article adopts a sectoral system framework and identifies windows of opportunity that may emerge during the long-run evolution of an industry. This study proposes three windows related to the specific dimensions of a sectoral system. One dimension is related to changes in knowledge and technology. The second dimension pertains to changes in demand, and the third includes changes in institutions and public policy. The combination of the opening of a window (technological, demand, or institutional/policy) and the responses of firms and other components of the sectoral system of the latecomer and incumbent countries determines changes in industrial leadership and catch-up. Sectors differ according to the type of windows that may open and the responses of firms and other components of systems. Empirical evidence of catch-up cycles is presented from six sectors, namely mobile phones, cameras, semiconductors, steel, mid-sized jets, and wines.
This paper explores the effect of diverse firm resources and competences such as founders’ human capital, workforce human capital and acquisition of knowledge from external sources on the innovation performance of young firms. The empirical analysis is based on data from a rich European survey that examined small firms between three and ten years of age across a wide industrial spectrum of knowledge-intensive services and manufacturing sectors in ten countries. The study provides evidence that aspects of both internal factors, especially those encapsulated in the human capital of founders such as prior exposure to R&D, team functional diversity and educational background, and external firm characteristics, such as technology collaborations and networking with universities are important in explaining young firms’ innovative activity.
The Black-Scholes model and the peer-review process are combined to offer more insight into the apparent value of research projects. In doing so high-risk/high-return research is found to be more attractive and financially rational than under the traditional peer review approach. In other words projects with the highest disagreement amongst panel members should sometimes be selected even though the average panel score may not be the highest under consideration. This finding is important as it improves the existing peer review process by utilizing not only the mean value of peer reviews, but also their standard deviation. This note also opens the consideration of the potential of Real Options approaches for decision support for project selection and management of research.