Strategic Innovation in Small Firms: An International Analysis of Innovation and Strategic Decision Making in Small to Medium Enterprises

Small to medium sized enterprises (SME) comprise 99% of all firms across the OECD group of advanced economies and contribute between 50% and 75% of all value adding. They are a critical component with in the national economies of their home countries and are often the source of new products and other innovations. Research by the OECD suggests that on average small firms do not innovate as much as their larger counterparts and those that do tend to be “gazelles” (fast growing new firms) often in the high-technology sectors. However, little is known about the ordinary small firm and how it innovates.
 
This project draws together participating researchers from 11 OECD countries who have used a common methodology to collect 567 cases of small firms engaged in the commercialisation of an innovation. The focus of the study is on the following:
  • Characteristics of the SME sector in each country
  • Characteristics of the National Innovation Systems that support these firms
  • Strategic risk assessment in early stage commercialisation
  • Strategic decision making in innovation within the SME
  • Strategic management of commercialisation within the SME
  • Strategic networking and alliances in SME innovators
A presentation of the findings was given at the Academy of Management Conference in Montreal, Canada 6-10 August 2010 in a seminar entitled: “Strategic Innovation in Small Firms: Lessons from Innovative Companies within the OECD”.
 
The findings from this study have been published in a book entitled: “Strategic Innovation in Small Firms: An International Analysis of Innovation and Strategic Decision Making in Small to Medium Enterprises” published via Edward Elgar Publishing.
 
This multinational study overviews strategic innovation in small firms and the National Innovation Systems that each country seeks to build in order to support them. Using case studies and survey data the book examines innovation in each country. The micro-enterprises of the Flemish Creative Sector are examined along with small firms from the fashion industry in Milan, Italy. Innovative small firms from within a technology incubator in the United States are examined, as are manufacturers and biotechnology firms in Australia. The innovative small firms of France, Switzerland, Austria and Canada are also examined along with their perceptions of the national climate for innovation.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Publications

A range of publications have been produced from this research study and are listed below from most recent to earliest:
 
Thuy Hang Do, Tim Mazzarol, Thierry Volery and Sophie Reboud (2012)
Paper presented at the 57th Annual ICSB World Conference, 10-13 June, Wellington, New Zealand.
 
Thuy Hang Do, Thierry Volery, Tim Mazzarol and Sophie Reboud (2011)
Paper presented at the 56th Annual ICSB World Conference, 15-18 June, Stockholm, Sweden.
*Awarded the Journal of Small Business Management best theoretical paper at the conference.
 
Phil Olson, Tim Mazzarol, Thierry Volery, Delwyn Clark and Sandy Newell Gough (2011)
Paper presented at the 56th Annual ICSB World Conference, 15-18 June, Stockholm, Sweden.
 
Tim Mazzarol and Sophie Reboud (2011)
Paper presented at the 56th Annual ICSB World Conference, 15-18 June, Stockholm, Sweden.
 
Tim Mazzarol, Sophie Reboud and Geoffrey N. Soutar (2011)
Paper presented at the 56th Annual ICSB World Conference, 15-18 June, Stockholm, Sweden.
 
Ysabel Nauwelaerts and Iris Hollaender (2011)
Paper presented at the 56th Annual ICSB World Conference, 15-18 June, Stockholm, Sweden.
 
Tim Mazzarol, Sophie Reboud and Thierry Volery (2010)
International Journal of Technology Management, 52(1/2): 98-117. 
 
Sophie Reboud and Tim Mazzarol (2009)
Paper presented at ATELIERS de 6ème Congrès de l'Académie de l'Entrepreneuriat, 19-21 Novembre, CERAM-ESC Lille Campus CERAM France.
 
Sophie Reboud, Michelle Santi and Tim Mazzarol (2008)
Paper presented at 9e Congrès International Francophone en Entrepreneuriat et PME (CIFEPME 2008), 29-31 Octobre, Brussels.
 
The French National Innovation System: An International Comparison from the Small Firms' Perspective
Sophie Reboud, Tim Mazzarol and Thierry Volery (2008)
Paper presented at Recontres, St Gallen Switzerland, Swiss Research Institute of Small Business and Entrepreneurship (KMU) University of St Gallen.
 
Tim Mazzarol and Sophie Reboud (2007)
Paper presented at EFMD 37th Entrepreneurship, Innovation and Small Business (EISB) Annual Conference, 13-14 September, Ljublijana Slovenia.
 
Research Team: 
Tim Mazzarol
Sophie Reboud
Geoff Soutar
Thierry Volery
Hermann Frank
Manfred Lueger
Vijaya Thyil
Christian Korunka
Ysabel Nauwelaerts
Frederick van Assche
Ilke van Beveren
Jacques Baronet
Johanne Queenton
Jacqueline Dahan
Jean-Guillaume Ditter
Jane Klobas
Paola Bielli
Delwyn Clark
Newel (Sandy) Gough
Philip Olsen
Thuy Hang Do