Title: Capabilities for innovation in small firms – a study of 131 high-tech firms and their relation to performance

Authors: Sofia Börjesson; Hans Löfsten

Addresses: Department of Technology Management and Economics, Chalmers University of Technology, Göteborg SE 412 96, Sweden ' Department of Technology Management and Economics, Chalmers University of Technology, Göteborg SE 412 96, Sweden

Abstract: Organisational capabilities have been widely discussed – most often at a conceptual level and from a large firm perspective. This paper examines the operationalisation and measurement of the capabilities for innovation in small firms and also how capabilities may be related to the firm's innovation performance. Based on a quantitative analysis of 131 small high-tech firms, this paper describes and analyses the dimensions critical for innovation with a special focus on very small high-tech firms. We propose a construct for investigation including five dimensions relating to small firm capabilities and their relation to innovation performance. We found 20 relationships between the capabilities dimensions and innovation performance, of which the performance dimension of 'patent' showed to be particularly correlated to capabilities. Our statistical analysis shows that two latent constructs have a positive effect on innovation performance: cooperation with universities and business planning and advice.

Keywords: organisational capabilities; innovation performance; high-tech firms; small and medium-sized enterprises; SMEs; operationalisation; capability measurement; quantitative analysis; capabilities dimensions; performance dimension; latent constructs; cooperation; higher education; universities; collaborative ventures; patents; business planning; business advice; Sweden; business innovation; business research.

DOI: 10.1504/IJBIR.2012.045634

International Journal of Business Innovation and Research, 2012 Vol.6 No.2, pp.149 - 176

Received: 08 May 2021
Accepted: 12 May 2021

Published online: 29 Feb 2012 *

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