Knowledge and Innovation Focus: A Classification of US and Canadian Firms

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This article examines business practices focused on knowledge and innovation and the relationship of these business practices with other key organisational variables in Canadian and US firms. The article is based on a 1996 study of 103 Fortune 500 and 151 Post 300 firms. The study was sponsored by the Michael J. Coles College of Business at Kennesaw State University and funded by the Canadian Institute of Chartered Accountants. Using cluster analysis, we grouped firms with similar knowledge and innovation-related business practices. Our analysis reveals that firms in each country can be categorised based on their focus on knowledge and innovation as: (1) high focus; (2) moderate focus; or (3) low focus. Results indicate that firms in each of the three categories tend to differ in organisational structure and technology orientation, as well as in the perception of the value of various non-financial performance factors and intangible assets.