The Case of Innovation and R&D in New Zealand’s Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises: Too Many Small Firms?

20 Pages Posted: 23 Jun 2010

See all articles by Martina Battisti

Martina Battisti

Massey University - New Zealand Centre for Small and Medium Enterprise Research

David Deakins

Massey University - NZ Centre for SME Research

Hernan Roxas

University of Southern Queensland - Department of Management and Marketing

Date Written: June 23, 2010

Abstract

New Zealand provides a special case for a developed country where innovation and R&D levels are comparatively low in SMEs, yet, paradoxically, it is also a nation of high rates of entrepreneurial activity. In attempting to explain these low rates of innovation activity, a number of conjectures have been put forward. These include that the number of small firms is too high, perversely that the level of entrepreneurial activity (new start businesses) is too high and that the distance from major markets and isolated situation means that innovative SMEs are forced to locate abroad. Despite these issues, there is lack of empirical evidence on innovation levels in SMEs in New Zealand and there remain few studies that have investigated the significance of these issues to test hypotheses about the low levels of innovative activity. This research gap and lack of empirical evidence is addressed by this paper from an analysis of panel data set of 1500 New Zealand SMEs on their innovative activities, the motivations for innovation and barriers. We test research propositions and associated hypotheses based on existing theory and literature and discuss our findings. We argue that barriers remain an issue which should be a focus for government support, rather than seeking to reduce entrepreneurial activity or selecting growth firms for support.

Suggested Citation

Battisti, Martina and Deakins, David and Roxas, Hernan, The Case of Innovation and R&D in New Zealand’s Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises: Too Many Small Firms? (June 23, 2010). Massey U. College of Business Research Paper No. 10. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1629201 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1629201

Martina Battisti (Contact Author)

Massey University - New Zealand Centre for Small and Medium Enterprise Research ( email )

60-62 Wallace Street
Private Box 756
Wellington
New Zealand
+64 (0) 4 801 5799 (Phone)

David Deakins

Massey University - NZ Centre for SME Research ( email )

60-62 Wallace St.
Private Box 756
Wellington
New Zealand

Hernan Roxas

University of Southern Queensland - Department of Management and Marketing

Queensland
Australia

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