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Innovation in food sector SMEs

Innovation in food sector SMEs Purpose – This paper aims to present a profile of innovation in food sector SMEs in the UK, exploring specifically the degree and types of innovation employed, and engagement with activities that support innovation orientation, or organisational innovativeness. Design/methodology/approach – A questionnaire‐based survey was conducted to gather data from food sector SMEs in the UK. The questionnaire design was informed by previous studies on degree and types of innovation, and the characteristics of innovativeness. Questionnaires were distributed and gathered by hand and online in order to optimise response. A total of 221 usable responses were received and analysed using SPSS. Findings – Food sector SMEs are more focused on incremental innovation as opposed to radical innovation, and they are also more engaged in product and process innovations than in packaging, position and paradigm innovations. In terms of innovation characteristics, SMEs agree that they are usually committed to the majority of a wide range of factors that affect innovation orientation, but most important amongst these are a commitment to encouraging new ideas, and cultivating innovative employees. Originality/value – Although the food and drink sector plays an important role within the UK economy, innovation in food sector SMEs has received little previous attention. This paper makes an important contribution by profiling innovation, according to type, and innovation characteristics in food sector SMEs in the UK. In addition, it demonstrates the importance of developing understanding of the management of innovation portfolios embracing a range of types and degrees of innovation. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Journal of Small Business and Enterprise Development Emerald Publishing

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References (75)

Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
Copyright © 2012 Emerald Group Publishing Limited. All rights reserved.
ISSN
1462-6004
DOI
10.1108/14626001211223919
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Purpose – This paper aims to present a profile of innovation in food sector SMEs in the UK, exploring specifically the degree and types of innovation employed, and engagement with activities that support innovation orientation, or organisational innovativeness. Design/methodology/approach – A questionnaire‐based survey was conducted to gather data from food sector SMEs in the UK. The questionnaire design was informed by previous studies on degree and types of innovation, and the characteristics of innovativeness. Questionnaires were distributed and gathered by hand and online in order to optimise response. A total of 221 usable responses were received and analysed using SPSS. Findings – Food sector SMEs are more focused on incremental innovation as opposed to radical innovation, and they are also more engaged in product and process innovations than in packaging, position and paradigm innovations. In terms of innovation characteristics, SMEs agree that they are usually committed to the majority of a wide range of factors that affect innovation orientation, but most important amongst these are a commitment to encouraging new ideas, and cultivating innovative employees. Originality/value – Although the food and drink sector plays an important role within the UK economy, innovation in food sector SMEs has received little previous attention. This paper makes an important contribution by profiling innovation, according to type, and innovation characteristics in food sector SMEs in the UK. In addition, it demonstrates the importance of developing understanding of the management of innovation portfolios embracing a range of types and degrees of innovation.

Journal

Journal of Small Business and Enterprise DevelopmentEmerald Publishing

Published: May 11, 2012

Keywords: Food and drink sector; Innovation; Innovativeness; Small to medium‐sized enterprises; United Kingdom

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