Service innovation, embeddedness and business performance: UK regional evidence

James H. Love, Stephen Roper, Nola Hewitt-Dundas

Research output: Preprint or Working paperWorking paper


This paper asks to question. First, what types of linkages make firms in the service sector innovate? And second, what is the link between innovation and the firms’ productivity and export performance? Using survey data from Northern Ireland we find that links intra-regional links (i.e. within Northern Ireland) to customers, suppliers and universities have little effect on innovation, but external links (i.e. outside Northern Ireland) help to boost innovation. Relationships between innovation, exporting and productivity prove complex but suggest that innovation itself is not sufficient to generate productivity improvements. Only when innovation is combined with increased export activity are productivity gains produced. This suggests that regional innovation policy should be oriented towards helping firms to innovate only where it helps firms to enter export markets or to expand their existing export market presence.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationBirmingham (UK)
PublisherAston University
Number of pages38
ISBN (Print)978-1-85449-728-4, 1-85449-728-6
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2008

Publication series

NameAston Business School research papers
PublisherAston University

Bibliographical note

Aston Business School Research Papers are published by the Institute to bring the results of research in progress to a wider audience and to facilitate discussion. They will normally be published in a revised form subsequently and the agreement of the authors should be obtained before referring to its contents in other published works.


  • innovation
  • services
  • regional development
  • productivity
  • exporting
  • Ireland


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