Abstract The emerging relationships connecting organizations are the condition on which innovation is founded nowadays, so it is pivotal to achieve a vaster comprehension of the phenomenon through the exploitation of new dynamics and the exploration of new trajectories. In line with the Quadruple Helix (QE) approach, it seems reasonable to expect that the different environments in which firms operate would highlight the expectations of the various market governance systems, which firms must comply with in order to gain social legitimacy and improve their capacity for survival. To determine whether the Quadruple Helix model has an effect on the firms’ profitability, the authors employed the classification analysis method (Classification And Regression Trees). The sample is composed by 4215 manufacturing firms located in science parks. In our empirical model, the variable ‘‘citizen’’ classifies businesses with high Return On Investment in the best way. This shows that in science parks ‘‘the fourth helix’’ (citizen) has an important role in classifying the firms with the highest performance. Moreover, the majority of firms that attribute high importance to the collaboration with private financial institutions in order to finance innovations have a high ROI. In addition, firms with high economic performance in the model of the quadruple helix generate product innovation.
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