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Open innovation in SMEs: a dynamic approach to modern entrepreneurship in the twenty-first century

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Pooran Wynarczyk


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Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to assess the impact of open innovation practices on the innovation capability and export performance of UK small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). Design/methodology/approach: The empirical (quantitative) investigation is based on a sample of 64 SMEs in the UK – 33 “open” innovation firms and 31 “closed” innovation firms. Findings: The overall results demonstrate that the international competitiveness of SMEs is highly dependent on the cumulative effects and interrelationship between two key internal components, i.e. R&D capacity and managerial structure and competencies, coupled with two external factors, i.e. open innovation practices and the ability of the firm to attract government grants for R&D and technological development. Research limitations/implications: Owing to the size of the sample, it has not been possible to undertake research within the context of specific regional disparities and/or sectoral characteristics. Practical implications: In order to achieve and sustain competitive advantage in today's global market, SMEs need to collaborate with universities and other firms to advance and commercialise their technologies through “open innovation”. Originality/value: Results show that open innovation activities and their impact on the international competitiveness of SMEs are complex and multi-faceted. Essentially, they are highly related to and dependent upon the cumulative effects of, and interrelationship between, several key internal and external factors. Such factors cannot be fully explored through qualitative approaches as they require more complex and rigorous statistical analyses.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Wynarczyk P

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Journal of Small Business and Enterprise Development

Year: 2013

Volume: 20

Issue: 2

Pages: 258-278

Print publication date: 01/07/2013

ISSN (print): 1462-6004

ISSN (electronic): 1758-7840

Publisher: Emerald Group Publishing Ltd.


DOI: 10.1108/14626001311326725


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