Title: Innovation intermediaries as agents for SMEs' organisational learning: a case study on the UCLA's global access program
Authors: Paolo Neirotti; Emilio Paolucci
Addresses: Department of Management and Production Engineering, Politecnico di Torino, Corso Duca degli Abruzzi, 24, 10129, Turin, Italy ' Department of Management and Production Engineering, Politecnico di Torino, Corso Duca degli Abruzzi, 24, 10129, Turin, Italy
Abstract: Research on open innovation has not yet built a comprehensive conceptualisation on how innovation intermediaries help small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in their capability development. In this paper we analyse the role that innovation intermediaries play in supporting SMEs in their international growth. We based our analysis on explorative case studies on 24 Italian firms that participated in an international program organised by UCLA. Results show that, thanks to the role played by a university intermediary, SMEs have been able to quickly learn new strategic management competences and to overcome 'local search' in their access to new market knowledge. This learning process follows different patterns in entrepreneurial and managerial firms. In raising this evidence, the paper provides a novelty contribution to open innovation studies as it describes how innovation intermediaries facilitate SMEs' international growth by facilitating their access to market knowledge in foreign countries.
Keywords: entrepreneurship; innovation intermediaries; small and medium-sized enterprises; SMEs; SME internationalisation; organisational learning; case study; Italy; UCLA; university intermediaries; strategic management; new markets; open innovation; international growth; market knowledge; foreign markets.
International Journal of Technology Intelligence and Planning, 2015 Vol.10 No.3/4, pp.294 - 317
Published online: 30 Jul 2015 *Full-text access for editors Access for subscribers Purchase this article Comment on this article