Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10419/24154
Authors: 
Hempell, Thomas
Zwick, Thomas
Year of Publication: 
2005
Series/Report no.: 
ZEW Discussion Papers 05-57
Abstract: 
This paper investigates to what extent the usage of information and communication technology (ICT) fosters innovation activities by facilitating more flexible organisational structures in firms. We distinguish between functional flexibility (the ability of workers to co-operate and take decentralised decisions) and numerical flexibility (the reduction of fixed costs, mainly due to outsourcing business processes). Our results from a large and representative data set of firms in Germany show that ICT use is associated with an increase in both types of flexibility but the implications for innovation activities differ. Functional flexibility is strongly positively associated with product innovations. In contrast, numerical flexibility allows firms to ?buy? innovations in the short run, but reduces innovative capacity in the longer run.
Subjects: 
ICT usage
flexibility
innovations
JEL: 
O31
L23
L22
Document Type: 
Working Paper

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