Innovation persistence: Survey and case-study evidence

Stephen Roper, Nola Hewitt-Dundas

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

78 Citations (Scopus)


Evidence on the persistence of innovation sheds light on the nature of the innovation process and can guide appropriate policy development. This paper examines innovation persistence in Ireland and Northern Ireland using complementary quantitative and case-study approaches. Panel data derived from innovation surveys is used, and suggests very different results to previous analyses of innovation persistence primarily based on patents data. Product and process innovation are found to exhibit strong general persistence but we find no evidence that persistence is stronger among highly active innovators. Our quantitative evidence is most strongly consistent with a process of cumulative accumulation at plant level. Our case-studies highlight a number of factors which can either interrupt or stimulate this process including market volatility, plants’ organisational context and regulatory changes. Notably, however, the balance of influences on product and process innovation persistence differs, with product innovation persistence linked more strongly to strategic factors and process changes more often driven by market pressures.
© 2007 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)149-162
Number of pages14
JournalResearch Policy
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2008

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Business and International Management
  • Strategy and Management
  • Economics and Econometrics

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