Importance of Innovation for European SMEs: Perception of Experts


  • Daniel Luís Arenhardt Universidade Federal de Santa Maria
  • Eugênio de Oliveira Simonetto Universidade Federal de Santa Maria
  • Glauco Oliveira Rodrigues Universidade Federal de Santa Maria



SMEs, Innovation, Innovation in SMEs.


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.


Este estudio tiene como tema la innovación en pequeñas y medianas empresas y se basa en datos recogidos de expertos en innovación con sede en la Unión Europea con un amplio conocimiento de la realidad de las PYME de ese bloque económico. A través de variables construidas a partir de las siete reglas de innovación (Davila et al., 2006), el trabajo midió la opinión de los especialistas en cuanto a la relevancia que las PYME atribuyen a los factores que conducen a la innovación, de acuerdo con el grado de desarrollo de sus países. En cambio, a la hipótesis formulada, se constató que PYME de países menos desarrollados parecen más conscientes de los beneficios que la innovación puede traer a sus negocios.


Esse estudo tem como tema a inovação em pequenas e médias empresas e baseia-se em dados coletados de especialistas em inovação sediados na União Europeia com amplo conhecimento desse público-alvo naquele bloco econômico. Por meio de variáveis construídas a partir das sete regras de inovação (Davila et al., 2006), o trabalho mensurou a opinião dos especialistas quanto à relevância que PMEs atribuem aos fatores que conduzem à inovação, de acordo com grau de desenvolvimento de seus países. Inversamente à hipótese formulada, constatou-se que países menos desenvolvidos parecem mais conscientes dos benefícios que a inovação pode trazer aos seus negócios. Palavras-chave: PMEs; Inovação; Inovação em PMEs.

Author Biographies

Daniel Luís Arenhardt, Universidade Federal de Santa Maria

Doutorando do Programa de Pós-graduação em Administração da Universidade Federal de Santa Maria; Servidor Público Federal no cargo de Administrador da Universidade Federal de Santa Maria; Mestre em Administração pela Universidade Federal de Santa Maria; Especialista em Agronegócio pela Universidade Federal do Paraná; Graduação em Administração de Empresas pela Universidade do Vale do Rio dos Sinos

Eugênio de Oliveira Simonetto, Universidade Federal de Santa Maria

Doutor em Administração pela Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul; Professor Adjunto do Programa de Pós-graduação em Administração da Universidade Federal de Santa Maria

Glauco Oliveira Rodrigues, Universidade Federal de Santa Maria

Doutorando do Programa de Pós-graduação em Administração da Universidade Federal de Santa Maria; Mestre em Administração pela Universidade Federal de Santa Maria


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How to Cite

Arenhardt, D. L., Simonetto, E. de O., & Rodrigues, G. O. (2018). Importance of Innovation for European SMEs: Perception of Experts. Dimensión Empresarial, 16(2), 21 - 37.