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Sustainability 2018, 10(1), 17; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10010017

Implementing Responsible Research and Innovation Practices in SMEs: Insights into Drivers and Barriers from the Austrian Medical Device Sector

Institute for Managing Sustainability, WU Vienna University of Economics and Business, Welthandelsplatz 1, A-1020 Vienna, Austria
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Received: 31 October 2017 / Revised: 19 December 2017 / Accepted: 20 December 2017 / Published: 22 December 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Responsible Research and Innovation (RRI) in Industry)
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Abstract

This paper addresses the question of how Responsible Research and Innovation (RRI) can be implemented in Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises (SMEs). It builds on existing knowledge about RRI in business as well as on insights into motivations, drivers and barriers from the related fields of eco-innovation and sustainability innovation. Expert interviews with CEOs of SMEs in the Austrian medical device sector are analyzed to develop insights into the companies’ research and innovation activities and potential drivers and barriers for RRI. The findings support the assumption that SMEs are largely unaware of the RRI concept. At the same time, however, it is possible to identify current practices that already operationalize aspects of RRI. It is argued that SMEs could build upon existing practices to further develop ways of being responsible and that implementation of RRI should be in line with specific organizational and contextual factors. View Full-Text
Keywords: responsible research and innovation; small and medium-sized enterprises; drivers and barriers; medical devices; Austria responsible research and innovation; small and medium-sized enterprises; drivers and barriers; medical devices; Austria
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).
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Auer, A.; Jarmai, K. Implementing Responsible Research and Innovation Practices in SMEs: Insights into Drivers and Barriers from the Austrian Medical Device Sector. Sustainability 2018, 10, 17.

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