This article provides a discussion of the complex relationship between large firms and innovation with particular attention paid to entrepreneurial mechanisms in large firms that foster such innovation. It should be noted that while the definition of entrepreneurship in this article covers all types of opportunity-seeking behaviour, the article focuses exclusively on the sub-set of entrepreneurship that results from technological progress and on the innovations associated with such progress. The article surveys the relationship between size and innovation. It elaborates on distinct barriers to innovation in large firms and then discusses factors and processes that help foster and sustain innovation in large firms before concluding with some avenues for further research.
Kristine Bruland and David C. Mowery
The discussion in this article highlights changes in the structure of the innovation process in successive periods, and is informed by the innovation system concept. In adopting this framework, this article focuses on the changing structure of economic activity, changes in relevant institutions, and changes in patterns of knowledge generation and flows within emergent industrial economies. This article begins by reviewing recent historical interpretations of the impulse toward industrialization in the world economy. It then discusses the changing structure of the innovation process in different phases of industrialization. This discussion includes the widespread appearance of shop-floor-driven technological innovation in eighteenth-century Great Britain and moves forward to consider the invention of the art of invention, to use the philosopher A. N. Whitehead's phrase, in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, with the emergence of organized industrial R&D within the firm.