R. van Es
H. van der Wal
- Innovation in SMEs: a race with no finish line
- International Journal of Innovation Management
- Volume | Issue number
- 16 | 5
- Article number
- Number of pages
- Document type
- Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences (FMG)
- Amsterdam Institute for Social Science Research (AISSR)
This article describes the results of our long-term study into the innovative behavior of fifteen Dutch small and medium-size enterprises (SMEs) that were considered promising in 1985. We asked ourselves the following two questions: (i) How did these companies develop while aiming for their innovation domain? (ii) What do the entrepreneurs perceive as the defining moments in this development?
As a general answer to the first question, we concluded that the innovative behavior of the companies essentially consisted of: technical and business process optimization, new types of collaboration, and renewing competencies and developing a fitting strategy. In short, we found that the non-technical innovation domains had greatly gained in importance. The answers to the second question showed us that corporate development was strongly affected by tensions related to growth, shifts in control over the company, and management. In most cases, such tensions negatively affected innovation.
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