Competence barriers to innovation: A study on small enterprises (Management Project)

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Innovation is, in most cases, a necessity for firms in today’s changing market place. It has the potential to offer firms numerous advantages,including increased profit and growth. However, innovation is no easy process and there are many barriers and impediments to innovation that needs to be overcome in order to efficiently innovate.A study conducted by Vinnova (2007) showed that 18% of SMEs consider a shortage of qualified personnel as a high barrier to innovation.

How are competence barriers to innovation experienced by small enterprises in the selected sample? Do competence barriers to innovation vary depending on different firm characteristics and in that case how? Which consequences do small enterprises encounter as a result of facing competence barriers to innovation? Are small enterprises that face high competence barriers to innovation more likely to encounter consequences?

The purpose of this research report is to investigate competence barriers to innovation within small enterprises and the consequences these barriers might result in.

Competence barriers to innovation are considered moderate in this sample. The highest barrier was shortage of qualified personnel necessary for innovation. In general, small enterprises that experienced a higher level of competition also faced higher competence barriers to innovation. The most frequently reported consequences from facing competence barriers to innovation were; inability to accept certain jobs or contracts, decreased profitability and difficulty in expanding the business. Small enterprises which face higher competence barriers to innovation are more likely to encounter consequences.
Source: Jönköping University
Authors: Andersson, Arvid | Clausson, Carl-Filip | Johansson, Daniel

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