EMANES Working Paper No 74

Innovation in manufacturing and non-manufacturing businesses is crucial for industrial competition, sustainability and economic growth. Past research has examined innovation drivers and barriers, primarily focusing on firm-specific factors. However, strategic actions like adopting international quality standards and the gender dynamics of managerial choice, have been largely underexplored. This study investigates how such strategies impact a firm’s ability to innovate in various dimensions: adopting new product lines, introducing novel products to the entire market (pioneer firms), improving processes and investing in research and development (R&D). Analysis based on over 60 thousand firm-level observations across 130+ countries suggests that: (1) certified firms and firms with a female manager have a higher probability of incurring R&D spending, and (2) female-owned businesses with a male manager have a higher probability of innovating new processes.



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