Investigating firms’ innovation behavior during the COVID-19 crisis
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- Master Thesis 
This thesis examines the COVID-19 crisis through the lens of innovation. A particular emphasis is placed on how innovation differs between firms based on firm size, age, and level of digitalization. The COVID-19 pandemic provides a unique opportunity to investigate firms' innovation behavior during a crisis since it has had a significant impact on economic activity across the globe. Therefore, it is highly intriguing to explore which organizations are innovating due to the crisis. The notion of using innovation as a strategic tool to respond to a crisis is particularly relevant in this thesis since the innovation literature has been sparse on this topic. The findings of the thesis show that small and young firms are not more likely to conduct innovations as a response to the crisis than larger and more established firms. However, digitalization appears to be essential for innovating during the crisis. The thesis points out that there is an imbalance in innovation investments between digital frontrunners and digital latecomers. Firms with higher degrees of digitalization are not only more likely to innovate but also to a larger extent and with better prospects, which is argued to stand for opportunity-driven innovations. As a result, the thesis sheds some light on the importance of digitalization when it comes to innovating jauntily and adapting quickly to a crisis, such as the COVID-19 crisis. It is argued that these features will almost certainly become even more crucial to be highly innovative in a future digital era. Moreover, the thesis provides findings for future research to further delve deeper into digitalization as an indispensable capability for innovation, as well as some insights to explain possible differences in firm performances after the crisis.