Small enterprises as innovators: shift from a low performer to a high performer
by Helena Forsman; Ulla Annala
International Journal of Technology Management (IJTM), Vol. 56, No. 2/3/4, 2011

Abstract: This paper focuses on innovation development in small enterprises. It explores what kinds of innovations have been developed in small enterprises and what is the diversity of innovation types. In addition, this paper examines the features characterising the journey of a small enterprise from a non-innovator to a diversified innovator. The empirical evidence is based on quantitative data gathered through an e-mail questionnaire, which yielded 733 qualified responses from the representatives of Finnish small enterprises with fewer than 50 employees. The results suggest that the degree of innovation capabilities, R&D investments and profitability are associated with the diversity of developed innovation types. The findings display four alternative routes when a small enterprise moves from a non-innovator to a diversified innovator. Applying these results will provide more specific questions for studying innovation development in the smallest enterprises.

Online publication date: Tue, 11-Oct-2011

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