Innovation at the information and communication technology sector: identifying firms’ profiles under the crisis in Portugal

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Portugal had steady increases of innovation performance and innovation activities in companies up to 2010, the year when the sovereign debt crisis burst in Europe and one year before Portugal’s bailout by the Troika. Since then, there is an inversion of this increasing trend that is concomitant to negative economic performance by firms. Understanding innovation as a future-oriented social change process that, building upon scientific and technological (S&T) knowledge, is framed by organizational, social, economic and political contexts, we questioned how innovation development was dependent on these contexts during the crisis in Portugal. For this purpose, we quantitatively characterized innovation activities and its contexts in 309 firms of the Information and Communication Technologies sector between 2010 and 2012. Following, we performed a cluster analysis and identified two innovation profiles. These present intra- and extra-organizational dimensions with indicators on financial resources and number of clients contributing the most to discriminate firms’ profiles and not indicators assessing scientific or technological activities. Additionally, our data shows that in favourable contexts, historically- and contextually-embedded confidence emerges and surpasses future-associated uncertainty, thus enabling innovation development. In more unfavourable scenarios, the absence of confidence inhibits innovation contributing to trap firms in deleterious vicious cycles. This study shows that the additive impacts of the intra- and extra organizational contexts have to be jointly tackled to foster innovation development. In addition, perceptions on confidence in the companies’ future are dependent on companies’ innovation profiles and thus can give us, in a snapshot, an indication of companies’ physiognomies.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages1
Publication statusPublished - 2015
EventEuropean Sociological Association 12th Conference: Differences, Inequalities and Sociological Imagination - Praga
Duration: 25 Sept 201528 Sept 2015


ConferenceEuropean Sociological Association 12th Conference


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