Title: Influence of network partners on SMEs' innovation activities

Authors: Susanne Durst; Serdal Temel; Christoph Hinteregger

Addresses: Department of Business Administration, Tallinn University of Technology, Ehitajate Tee 5, Tallinn, Estonia; South Ural State University, 76 Lenin Str., Chelyabinsk, Russian Federation ' Department of Chemical Engineering, Ege University, 35100 Bornova, Izmir, Turkey ' School of Management, University of Innsbruck, Innsbruck, Austria

Abstract: Even though previous research has repeatedly highlighted the critical role of network partners on innovation activities, it lacks a dedicated discussion about small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and their approaches to network partners for realising innovation initiatives. This study responds to this situation and, drawing upon a data set from 1,315 Turkish SMEs, empirically conceptualises a typology of strategic types of networkers and explores the influence of these strategic types on marketing and product innovation as well as process and organisational innovation in SMEs. Results show that apart from supply-chain networkers, there are significant positive relationships between all types of network collaborations and SMEs' innovation activities. Additionally, increasing the breadth and depth of network collaboration with external partners will strengthen the positive effects of SMEs' innovation activities even more.

Keywords: innovation; network partners; SMEs; marketing innovation; process innovation; organisational innovation; typology.

DOI: 10.1504/IJBE.2020.111393

International Journal of Business Environment, 2020 Vol.11 No.4, pp.369 - 389

Received: 13 Aug 2019
Accepted: 13 Dec 2019

Published online: 25 Nov 2020 *

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