The Fruit Flies of Innovations: A Taxonomy of Innovative Small Firms

Posted: 9 Nov 2009

See all articles by Jeroen P.J. de Jong

Jeroen P.J. de Jong

EIM Netherlands - Business and Policy Research

O. Marsili

Erasmus University Rotterdam (EUR) - Rotterdam School of Management (RSM)

Date Written: 2006

Abstract

Constructing an empirical taxonomy to capture theinnovation process in small firms (fewer than 100 employees) is the goal ofthis analysis.To begin, a discussion of taxonomic schemes that have beenused to study innovation is presented. Data utilized in the analysis werecollected through a survey by EIM Business & Policy Research in April 2003of 1,234 micro and small firms in The Netherlands. Survey respondents were managers within the firm and usually theowner.The variables in the study spanned six different dimensions:innovative output, innovative input, sources of innovation, managerialattitude, innovation planning, and external orientation. Results indicate the process of innovation is more widespread than productinnovation for output and, as to input, firms are shown to be more likely todedicate time to innovation than to reserve a budget for innovation. Firms are clustered into four groups: supplier-dominated,specialized-suppliers, science-based, and resource-intensive. Supplierdominated firms scored the lowest in all the external variables, whilescience-based firms were shown to be innovative in both their internalpractices and their external networks. The specialized-suppliers are committed to product innovation and tend tohave good relationships with their customers.The results provide a morediverse pattern of innovation in small firms than the taxonomy proposed byPavitt. (SRD)

Keywords: EIM Business & Policy Research, Taxonomy, Service industries, Innovation process, Environmental scanning, Interfirm alliances, Strategic planning, Technology innovation, Product development, Manufacturing industries

Suggested Citation

de Jong, Jeroen P.J. and Marsili, Orietta, The Fruit Flies of Innovations: A Taxonomy of Innovative Small Firms (2006). University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign's Academy for Entrepreneurial Leadership Historical Research Reference in Entrepreneurship, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1502021

Jeroen P.J. De Jong

EIM Netherlands - Business and Policy Research ( email )

Postbus 7001
2701 AA Zoetermeer
Netherlands

Orietta Marsili

Erasmus University Rotterdam (EUR) - Rotterdam School of Management (RSM) ( email )

P.O. Box 1738
Room T08-21
3000 DR Rotterdam, 3000 DR
Netherlands
+31 10 408 9508 (Phone)
+31 10 408 9015 (Fax)

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