Importance of Innovation for European SMEs: Perception of Experts

Daniel Luís Arenhardt
Eugênio de Oliveira Simonetto
Glauco Oliveira Rodrigues



Innovation is one of the most important ways in which small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) gain competitive advantage, drive the economy and generate new jobs. Many researches have been conducted to determine which practices contribute to the development of innovation in SMEs. However, adoption necessarily requires awareness of its importance to the organization's results. This study is based on data collected from innovation experts based in the European Union with a broad knowledge of the SME reality of that economic bloc. By means of variables constructed from the seven rules of innovation (Davila et al., 2006), the study measured the experts’s opinion on the relevance that SMEs attribute to the factors that lead to innovation, according to the degree of development of their countries. Conversely, SMEs from less developed countries seem more aware of the benefits that innovation can bring to their businesses. Regarding the factors analyzed, (1) incorporation of the concept into the business and (2) innovation alignment with the company strategy were those that presented the best averages, according to experts consulted.


SMEs; Innovation; Innovation in SMEs.

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