The 'voice' approach of trade associations:support for SMEs accessing a research institute

Izushi, Hiro (2002). The 'voice' approach of trade associations:support for SMEs accessing a research institute. Environment and Planning C, 20 (3), pp. 439-454.


Access to external sources of technical knowledge is one of the keys to staying innovative for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). The literature suggests that SMEs with a weak internal R&D capacity do not make much use of institutional sources like research institutes and universities. In this paper I investigate how trade associations can induce member SMEs to use a research institute. The case of a public research institute and SMEs in the textile industry in Kyoto, Japan is examined. Evidence from the case suggests that trade associations facilitate the use of the institute by expressing a collective `voice' to the management of the institute. The effect is evident among active members in the use of services involving a large information gap as to their benefits. I also consider a shortcoming of the collective approach and suggest some measures to be taken on the part of research institutes.

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Divisions: Aston Business School > Economics finance & entrepreneurship
Uncontrolled Keywords: access to external sources,technical knowledge,small and medium-sized enterprises,internal R&D capacity,research institutes,universities,trade associations
Published Date: 2002


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