PurposeThe aim of this paper is to unpack the nature of business innovation and understand the impact on regional innovation and competitiveness.Design/methodology/approachThe paper is based on a qualitative study of Advanced Manufacturing and Advanced Materials businesses in the Sheffield City Region (UK). Interviews were conducted with 23 firms in exploring how innovation in the firm translates to innovation-led regional economic growth.FindingsThe paper demonstrates that there is a tendency of owner managers to focus on innovation in terms of the development of new products, processes and/or services. Many of the businesses interviewed were technologically innovative, yet there was little evidence of wider business model innovation. This, the authors conclude, stymies regional innovation and with it regional economic growth.Research limitations/implicationsThis study is based on a case study of the Sheffield City Region and is not generalizable, but offers insights into the nature of business model innovation which are valuable in generating questions for further research.Practical implicationsThe paper highlights the need to think of innovation in broader terms and the scope of business model innovation to not only improve the performance of firms but also regional economic growth.Originality/valueBusiness model innovation is a growing domain of the literature, and this paper highlights how narrow interpretations of innovation may serve to limit growth business growth, and with it regional economic growth.
Competitiveness Review: An International Business Journal incorporating Journal of Global Competitiveness – Emerald Publishing
Published: Jan 15, 2018
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