Overriding Uncertainty in the Company's Future via the Development of Innovation Activities during the Crisis in Portugal

By Ana Ferreira.

Published by The International Journal of Interdisciplinary Social Sciences: Annual Review

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

The burst of the sovereign debt crisis in 2010 is concomitant to the first decreases of innovation activities in the twenty-first century in Portugal. Understanding innovation as an uncertain future-oriented change process that builds upon scientific and technological knowledge, and 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 the internal and external contexts of Information and Communication Technology firms between 2010 and 2012. Focusing on innovative firms, we further analyzed the evolution of innovation activities; perceptions of the crisis impacts on innovation; and the evolution of uncertainty in the companies’ future. Our ordinal regression models revealed that companies with more empowering work environments and increasing assets, present increased probability of having 1) augmented innovation activities; 2) more favorable perceptions of the socio-economic crisis impacts on innovation; and 3) reduced uncertainty in the companies’ future. Our study further suggests that while uncertainty is ubiquitous to innovation processes, increases in contextually-framed innovation activities support more favorable perceptions of the crisis impacts on innovation, and additionally override perceptions of uncertainty in the companies’ future.

Keywords: Innovation, Uncertainty, ICT Sector, Crisis

The International Journal of Interdisciplinary Social Sciences: Annual Review, Volume 11, pp.49-69. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 1.008MB).

Ana Ferreira

Post-doctoral Fellow, Centro Interdisciplinar de Ciências Sociais CICS.NOVA - Faculdade de Ciências Sociais e Humanas, Universidade Nova de Lisboa, Lisboa, Portugal