This paper builds upon Pellegrino et al. (Struct Chang Econ Dyn 23:329–340, 2012) further analysing the determinants of product innovation in Italian young innovative companies (YICs) by looking at in-house and external R&D and at the acquisition of external technology in its embodied and disembodied components. A Tobit approach is applied to study jointly the occurrence of product innovation and the intensity of such innovation. Results provide evidence that inhouse R&D is linked to product innovation both in mature firms and YICs; however, YICs turn out to be less in-house R&D-based and, unlike their mature counterparts, more dependent on external sources of knowledge. While this outcome corroborates and further reinforce what found—using a different methodology—in Pellegrino et al. (Struct Chang Econ Dyn 23:329–340, 2012), in this study, other entrepreneurial attitudes such as the ability to cooperate with other firms in producing innovation or the capacity to develop significant organizational changes are also investigated. The results of the econometric estimations show that these attitudes turn out to be key innovative strategies in the incumbent firms but, in some specific cases (such as for the ability to cooperate), appear to be far less important in the YICs. These results are somehow worrying, since they show that Italian innovative entrepreneurs are mostly driven by routinized rather than creative strategies.
- Product innovation