The innovation phenomenon and how it contributes to the firms performance is contingent on several variables, such as the firm s characteristics, its strategies, the industry and the environment. Brazil is not recognized as having a friendly environment for innovation, in contrast with most of the European
countries, and this issue may be one of the reasons why the country is stuck in its economic development. Considering all mentioned above, this dissertation aims to contribute by exploring the relationships among internal and external R and D, innovation performance and financial performance in the Brazilian and in some European countries manufacturing firms and compare both realities to learn lessons about how Brazilian firms may evolve in their innovation and financial performance. The strategy to achieve this goal was to propose a theoretical model and some hypotheses based on an extensive literature review of the innovation management and strategy fields and test them through structural equation modeling (SEM), using Bayesian estimation. In order to test the model in the Brazilian context, a sample of 2,810 manufacturing firms that conducted innovation activities from 2009 to 2011 of the Brazilian innovation survey PINTEC 2011 was used. For the European context, the sample had 2,745 manufacturing firms of 14 countries (Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Cyprus, Spain, Croatia, Portugal, Hungary, Slovenia, Norway, Lithuania, Romania, Italy, Slovakia and Estonia) of the Community Innovation Survey (CIS) 2010, which
considered the years of 2008 to 2010. In the case of Brazil, a positive direct relationship between strategic alliances and innovation performance was detected. Internal R and D, on the other hand, did not influence innovation performance directly, however, it positively moderated the relationship between strategic
alliances and innovation, which is consistent with the absorptive capacity theory. Contrary to the theory, innovation performance had a negative influence on the future financial performance. This negative relationship may have been caused by the two-years lag between the proxies of the two constructs of the model, that did not identify an increasing in revenues achieved by the new products and services,
but captured the negative effect of the redirection of resources from marketing and sales to innovation activities, such as internal R and D, and of the managerial costs of the strategic alliances. For the selected European countries, the empirical analysis detected a positive relationship between internal and external R and D (from strategic alliances) and innovation performance separately. Contrary to the expectations, it
did not find a moderation of internal R and D on the relationship between strategic alliances and innovation performance. This was probably caused by the low absorptive capacity of the firms in the European countries studied compared to the most innovative countries in Europe and in the world. Innovation performance did not influence financial performance. This may have been caused by the absence of
a time-lag between the measurement of the proxies of these two constructs, which did not to allow to identify an increasing in revenues from new products and services, that takes some time to be perceived. All the results of both models suggested that, if the main goal is an immediate improvement in the innovation performance levels, manufacturing firms should focus on either internal or external R and D. However, if the main goal is the long-term, beginning to strengthen their internal R and D is effective to improve the firms absorptive capacity while achieving a satisfactory innovation outcome. This strategy will
allow them to adopt more complex strategies, balancing internal and external R and D, effectively in the future, when the absorptive capacity level becomes high.