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Using web mining to explore Triple Helix influences on growth in small and mid-size firms
Technovation (2016)
  • Yin Li, Georgia Institute of Technology
  • Sanjay Arora, Georgia Institute of Technology
  • Jan Youtie, Georgia Institute of Technology
  • Philip Shapira, University of Manchester; Georgia Institute of Technology
While broad “Triple Helix” frameworks of industry, government and university collaborations have the potential to enhance innovation and economic development at macro-levels, at the micro-level of the firm it should not be assumed that such relationships are uniform in character or outcomes. Each firm will negotiate and develop its own set of relationships with other innovation system actors based on its capabilities and strategies. To better understand these dynamics, particularly from the perspective of small and medium-sized enterprises, this study probes the micro-level characteristics and impacts of external enterprise relationships. Novel website-based Triple Helix measures are introduced that extend the analytical scope beyond customary indicators (such as patent analysis or entropy measures) to include communication and coordination among all three helices at the micro-level of individual firms. This approach is used to explore the micro-level characteristics and impacts of industry, government and university relations for small and medium-sized enterprises by analyzing a subset of 271 U.S. green goods small and medium-sized manufacturing enterprises. We compare the website-based measures with case study results to authenticate the method. A panel data regression model is then employed to analyze the simultaneous impacts of various combinations of industry, government and university links on firm sales growth (2008–2011), with controls for region, scale, and application domains. The ability of website-based indicators to distinguish the impacts of different mixes of Triple Helix relations is demonstrated. While relationships with all three helices have a positive total marginal effect on firm sales growth, local relationships and relationships that emphasize links with government and industry make particularly notable contributions to growth in the sample green goods enterprises. The implications of these findings are discussed.
  • Triple Helix,
  • Micro-level relationships,
  • Small and medium enterprises,
  • SMEs,
  • Growth,
  • Website data
Publication Date
January, 2016
Citation Information
Yin Li, Sanjay Arora, Jan Youtie, and Philip Shapira. Using web mining to explore Triple Helix influences on growth in small and mid-size firms. Technovation. 2016. doi:10.1016/j.technovation.2016.01.002.
Creative Commons license
Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons CC_BY International License.