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Multi-level Dynamics of SME Innovation and Performance in Cross-Country Settings


Faculty of Management, Law and Social Sciences

About the Project

In search for constitutive elements of small and medium enterprise (SME) innovation and growth, various scholars have explored the role played by firm-level, environmental and entrepreneurial behavioral factors. Recent studies have shown commonalities across countries (Rosenbusch, Brinckmann, & Bausch, 2011). However only a relatively small proportion of SMEs are experiencing high-growth and central to their success is the innovation. A major view is that the ability of SMEs to bring innovative ideas and adopt new processes increases knowledge spillover in a locality or region (Acs & Armington, 2006; Delmar, Karl Wennberg, & Hellerstedt, 2011). When SMEs exploit innovation and adopt new practices, this promotes local development and growth (Romanelli & Khessina, 2005). As such, a number of programmes have been developed at to encourage innovation and SME growth (Hounkonnou et al., 2012). However, where should we look for the key to SME innovation and growth? Is it from the environment within which the firm operates; or should we be more concerned about the people and processes within the firm? The purpose of this project is to explore the confluence of entrepreneurial/firm characteristics and effort in shaping SMEs’ approaches to innovation and innovation success under different regulatory and institutional settings.


With the use of firm-level secondary data from leading sources such as World Bank Enterprise Survey, UK Innovation Survey, Mannheim Innovation Panel and Orbis - Bureau van Dijk, the project aims to contribute empirical evidence partitioning the SME innovation performance into effects of micro-meso-macro level factors for different type of innovation success (e.g. product innovation and process innovation, green innovation) and consequently generate interesting theoretical insights and policy implications.


The potential candidate will need to demonstrate familiarity with existing research literature on firm innovation and performance, entrepreneurship and innovation, SME exporting and internationalisation. The candidate should be inclined towards advanced quantitative research approach to gather and analyse data. Knowledge of statistical techniques such as linear and non-linear regression, structural equation modelling and panel data analysis could prove to be an additional advantage.


As the project is intersectional and multi-disciplinary in nature, the candidate is expected to come up with well thought out research proposal. The supervisory team welcomes informal inquiries from potential candidates to discuss the research project.

References

Acs, Z. j., & Armington, C. (2006). Entrepreneurship Geography and American Economic Growth. New York: Cambridge University Press.

Delmar, F., Karl Wennberg, & Hellerstedt, K. (2011). Endogenous growth through knowledge spillovers in entrepreneurship: an empirical test. Strategic Entrepreneurship Journal, 5(3), 199-226.

Hounkonnou, D., Kossou, D., Kuyper, T. W., Leeuwis, C., Nederlof, E. S., Röling, N., . . . van Huis, A. (2012). An innovation systems approach to institutional change: Smallholder development in West Africa. Agricultural Systems, 108, 74-83.

Romanelli, E., & Khessina, O. M. (2005). Regional Industrial Identity: Cluster Configurations and Economic Development. Organization Science, 16(4), 344-358. doi:10.1287/orsc.1050.0131

Rosenbusch, N., Brinckmann, J., & Bausch, A. (2011). Is innovation always beneficial? A meta-analysis of the relationship between innovation and performance in SMEs. Journal of business Venturing, 26(4), 441-457.

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