Special Issue "Open Innovation in Micro, Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises"

Special Issue Editors

Prof. Dr. João Leitão
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
NECE—Research Center in Business Sciences, University of Beira Interior (UBI), 6201-001 Covilhã, Portugal; CEG-IST, University of Lisbon, Lisbon, Portugal
Interests: entrepreneurship; innovation; organizational economics; public policy; regional policy
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals
Prof. Dr. Léo-Paul Dana
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Montpellier Business School, 34080 Montpellier, France
Interests: entrepreneurship; indigenous entrepreneurship; collaborative entrepreneurship

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Research defines coopetition as a mix of cooperation and competition among firms oriented towards producing innovation and generating net value added or economic benefit. The importance of studying the determinants of firms’ innovative behavior, based on those coopetition relationships, has warranted increasing attention by scholars. However, the role played by micro, small and medium-sized enterprises in this process has been neglected, even as research on economic geography, clusters, entrepreneurship and innovation has become preeminent. This represents an opportunity for scholars, policy makers, entrepreneurs and practitioners to discuss the importance of micro, small and medium-sized enterprises in determining the innovative behavior of government, industry, higher education institutions (HEIs) and citizens in environments that mix competition and cooperation.

Despite the importance of the institutional and networks approaches explored in the literature, much remains unknown regarding the role played by the referred different types of enterprises in determining innovative and economic performance. Another gap found in the literature is concerning entrepreneurial and open innovative ecosystems. There is an increasing literature suggesting reasons behind ecosystems emergence, but it fails to examine in detail the exact mechanisms behind it, namely, the role played by endogenous production factors (for example, human capital, social or relational capital, organizational capital and knowledge), using an organizational economics approach. This gap may be addressed by linking, for example, coopetition, innovative behaviour, clusters or industrial districts. If agglomeration improves the quality of the match between government, firms, HEIs, and citizens, then clusters will ensure enduring productivity and sustainable competitive advantages.

Prof. Dr. João Leitão
Prof. Léo-Paul Dana
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

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Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Journal of Open Innovation: Technology, Market, and Complexity is an international peer-reviewed open access quarterly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 800 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • Coopetition
  • Clusters
  • Industrial districts
  • Innovation
  • Micro firms
  • Open innovation
  • Performance
  • SMEs

Published Papers (12 papers)

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Research

Article
Sensing Technologies, Roles and Technology Adoption Strategies for Digital Transformation of Grape Harvesting in SME Wineries
J. Open Innov. Technol. Mark. Complex. 2021, 7(2), 123; https://doi.org/10.3390/joitmc7020123 - 28 Apr 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 523
Abstract
The article improves understanding on leveraging new technology for DT (digital transformation) of grape harvest in SME wineries. It provides evidence on technologies used and workplace types deployed in grape harvesting, as well as strategic paths in deploying new technology, thereby contributing to [...] Read more.
The article improves understanding on leveraging new technology for DT (digital transformation) of grape harvest in SME wineries. It provides evidence on technologies used and workplace types deployed in grape harvesting, as well as strategic paths in deploying new technology, thereby contributing to the literature on networked sensing and seizing capabilities in the wine industry 4.0. The research approach is explorative and qualitative drawing on 31 interviews with wine industry 4.0 experts and managers, mostly owners of SMEs: wineries, wine software and wine machinery enterprises. Resulting findings serve as a roadmap for digital transformation of grape harvest process in SME wineries explaining technologies and work roles necessary for DWT (digital workplace transformation), as well as strategic paths of deployment of novel grape harvest technology. Previous research on the wine industry 4.0 has focused on BMI, while this research expands the focus to include a wider concept of technology adoption strategy as well as DWT. The research identifies two types of factors impacting the strategic deployment of grape harvest technology: pull factors, also termed servitization factors, as well as push factors, termed also digital transformation factors. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Open Innovation in Micro, Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises)
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Article
Organizational and Environmental Factors with the Mediating Role of E-Commerce and SME Performance
J. Open Innov. Technol. Mark. Complex. 2020, 6(4), 196; https://doi.org/10.3390/joitmc6040196 - 17 Dec 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1330
Abstract
The study investigates the mediating role of e-commerce through organizational and environmental factors with small and medium enterprises (SMEs) performance. The study follows a cross-sectional survey method approach. The study’s theoretical foundation is based on the resource-based view (RBV) and diffusion of innovation [...] Read more.
The study investigates the mediating role of e-commerce through organizational and environmental factors with small and medium enterprises (SMEs) performance. The study follows a cross-sectional survey method approach. The study’s theoretical foundation is based on the resource-based view (RBV) and diffusion of innovation (DOI) theory. The current research identifies four manufacturing SMEs’ strata based on participation in the country’s exports using a stratified proportional random sampling technique. The research questionnaires were distributed among 700 top and middle-level managers of manufacturing SMEs. The data were analyzed by applying partial least square structural equational modeling (PLS-SEM) to examine the relationship between the exogenous, mediator, and endogenous variables. The finding reveals that top management support and competitive pressure have a significant positive impact on the use of e-commerce direct and mediation. At the same time, the adoption cost and government support have an insignificant impact on e-commerce usage. This study results can be used to enhance the use of e-commerce in Pakistan’s manufacturing SMEs to improve the country’s overall exports. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Open Innovation in Micro, Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises)
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Article
The Role of Multi-Actor Engagement
J. Open Innov. Technol. Mark. Complex. 2020, 6(4), 176; https://doi.org/10.3390/joitmc6040176 - 03 Dec 2020
Viewed by 674
Abstract
This study aims to meet the theoretical needs in answering the problem of the role of the marketing function on the dynamic capability that involves the role of multi actors through engagement. In particular, the study discusses the capabilities of SMEs’ business strategy [...] Read more.
This study aims to meet the theoretical needs in answering the problem of the role of the marketing function on the dynamic capability that involves the role of multi actors through engagement. In particular, the study discusses the capabilities of SMEs’ business strategy in the offline to online market. The population of this research are owners, managers, and owners and managers of SMEs in Indonesia. The results of this study indicate that the integration of the supply chain into engagement can address the problem of the role of the marketing function that connects marketing and operations. Supply chain engagement is also able to moderate employee engagement to dynamic marketing engagement but not significantly moderate customer engagement. Meanwhile, the basis of integration as a dynamic capability in market knowledge has a significant effect on the multi-actor engagement consisting of customer engagement, employee engagement, and supply chain engagement. Summary statement of contribution: Our research builds on the three elements of multi-actor engagement that are significant against dynamic marketing engagement. The main finding of this research is that the concept of novelty can answer the proposition with the result that dynamic marketing engagement can improve business performance. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Open Innovation in Micro, Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises)
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Article
Innovative CRM and Performance of SMEs: The Moderating Role of Relational Capital
J. Open Innov. Technol. Mark. Complex. 2020, 6(4), 155; https://doi.org/10.3390/joitmc6040155 - 18 Nov 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 697
Abstract
Customer Relationship Management (CRM) is more than an information tool and plays a critical role in small and medium enterprises (SMEs). The present study explored the moderating effect of relational capital (RC) on the relationship between CRM dimensions and the performance of 284 [...] Read more.
Customer Relationship Management (CRM) is more than an information tool and plays a critical role in small and medium enterprises (SMEs). The present study explored the moderating effect of relational capital (RC) on the relationship between CRM dimensions and the performance of 284 Yemeni manufacturing SMEs. Partial Least Squares-Structural Equation Modelling (PLS-SEM) was used to test the study’s hypotheses. Results indicate that only three of the CRM dimensions have a significant effect on performance. The moderating effects of relational capital on this relationship were also examined and were found to be significant for only two CRM dimensions: technology-based CRM and CRM organization. Key customer focus and CRM knowledge management had no effect. The findings of this study offer important insights for owners and managers of SMEs, researchers, and policymakers to further understand the effects of relational capital and CRM on SMEs’ performance. SMEs should be encouraged to develop their CRM and relational capital to improve their performance. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Open Innovation in Micro, Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises)
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Article
Inbound and Outbound Practices of Open Innovation and Eco-Innovation: Contrasting Bioeconomy and Non-Bioeconomy Firms
J. Open Innov. Technol. Mark. Complex. 2020, 6(4), 145; https://doi.org/10.3390/joitmc6040145 - 13 Nov 2020
Cited by 9 | Viewed by 941
Abstract
Generating innovation with environmental impact is crucial for firms to achieve sustainable eco-innovative performance. In the reference literature on open innovation, gaps still persist at the level of scarce and limited knowledge on the use of knowledge sources and flows, for the purpose [...] Read more.
Generating innovation with environmental impact is crucial for firms to achieve sustainable eco-innovative performance. In the reference literature on open innovation, gaps still persist at the level of scarce and limited knowledge on the use of knowledge sources and flows, for the purpose of strengthening the eco-innovative performance of the bioeconomy sector. To address these caveats, this study analyses the effects of open innovation on eco-innovation, based on inbound and outbound support practices. Specifically, it aims to analyse the effects of these practices on the eco-innovative performance of bioeconomy and non-bioeconomy firms, using secondary data gathered from the Community Innovation Survey—CIS 2010 for a sample of moderately innovative countries, namely Slovakia, Spain, Hungary, Italy, Portugal and the Czech Republic. The conceptual model proposed is tested using multivariate tobit regression models, in order to ensure the accuracy and reliability required to validate empirical tests. Overall, the empirical evidence allows the conclusion that inbound and outbound practices and public policies have a positive and significant influence on the eco-innovative performance of the firms studied. The contribution provided is two-fold: (i) in theoretical terms, an operational model of open innovation inbound and outbound practices is extended, crossing financial flows and innovation directions; and (ii) in empirical terms, new light is shed on the still limited knowledge about the positive and significant effects of open innovation outbound practices on the eco-innovative performance of companies belonging to a global strategic sector—that is, the bioeconomy sector, which has renewed strategic importance in the face of global climate change. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Open Innovation in Micro, Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises)
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Article
R&D Collaboration, Competitiveness Development, and Open Innovation in R&D
J. Open Innov. Technol. Mark. Complex. 2020, 6(4), 116; https://doi.org/10.3390/joitmc6040116 - 16 Oct 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 959
Abstract
The competitiveness of the agro-industrial sector depends not only on its specific performance but also on the character and degree of the innovation performance, vital to added value development and differentiation in the biobased value-chain. This work intends to show, how through research [...] Read more.
The competitiveness of the agro-industrial sector depends not only on its specific performance but also on the character and degree of the innovation performance, vital to added value development and differentiation in the biobased value-chain. This work intends to show, how through research and development (R&D), collaboration is possible to improve agri-food companies’ competitiveness, helping them to integrate biotechnology and offer innovative products. The method used to support the R&D collaboration model developed involves a diagnosis of biotechnological tools use, for developing appropriate solutions from food safety to food quality, improving health, and achieving new ingredients and/or food products within an agri-food Association partners survey results were integrated into the study of R&D collaboration practice. Results show that the companies (wine culture, fruticulture, and olive culture subsectors) inquired do not develop biotechnology research. They were all micro-business with a low volume of commercial billing, and only 27.3% claimed to have developed research activities in partnership with external research centres, but were not associated with higher education institutions. The barriers to the implementation of biotechnology techniques considered more relevant by respondents were access to capital and specialized human resources, which led to reinforcing the R&D collaboration strategy design. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Open Innovation in Micro, Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises)
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Article
Trouble in Paradise? Barriers to Open Innovation in Regional Clusters in the Era of the 4th Industrial Revolution
J. Open Innov. Technol. Mark. Complex. 2020, 6(3), 84; https://doi.org/10.3390/joitmc6030084 - 14 Sep 2020
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 793
Abstract
The purpose of this paper is to provide an insight into the barriers faced by clusters as open innovation intermediaries. Literature review and an empirical study were performed, involving a nation-wide survey, case studies, and in-depth interviews with cluster actors involved in open [...] Read more.
The purpose of this paper is to provide an insight into the barriers faced by clusters as open innovation intermediaries. Literature review and an empirical study were performed, involving a nation-wide survey, case studies, and in-depth interviews with cluster actors involved in open innovation activities. This article conceptually links open innovation and clusters in the context of the fourth industrial revolution, empirically identifies barriers hindering open innovation in clusters, and indicates factors that might affect the open innovation processes in networked ecosystems. The findings confirm that the perception of barriers hindering open innovation in clusters differs between clusters already implementing open innovation and those which are still not active in this area. The findings contribute to a comprehensive understanding of the potential roles of clusters as open innovation intermediaries in the context of transitioning economies. With clusters playing a role in open innovation intermediary, public support at cluster level could increase openness to cooperation not only for member companies, but all participants in the regional innovation ecosystem. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Open Innovation in Micro, Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises)
Article
Buyer–Supplier Contract Length and the Innovation of Supplier Firms
J. Open Innov. Technol. Mark. Complex. 2020, 6(3), 52; https://doi.org/10.3390/joitmc6030052 - 24 Jul 2020
Viewed by 677
Abstract
The relationship with customers has important implications for operating decisions as well as firm performance. One important aspect of the supplier–buyer relationship is the contract duration, and how this factor is likely to affect firm investments has been under-researched. This study aims to [...] Read more.
The relationship with customers has important implications for operating decisions as well as firm performance. One important aspect of the supplier–buyer relationship is the contract duration, and how this factor is likely to affect firm investments has been under-researched. This study aims to investigate whether corporate innovation is linked to the maturity of contracts between suppliers and buyers. Using a sample of 1516 manufacturing firms in Vietnam for the period of 2014 to 2018, we find that longer-term contracts are positively related to firm propensity of innovation. However, only contracts with foreign purchasers have this characteristic, confirming the supportive role of foreign partners in uplifting the technology for domestic suppliers in a developing country. Interestingly, longer contracts do not tend to facilitate firm innovation or raise the aimed level of newness for firms with very long contracts compared with those that have short-term contracts. This is consistent with the agency cost theory. These findings are robust to different specifications and econometric approaches. Based on the findings, implications are provided to manage the relationship with customers more efficiently. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Open Innovation in Micro, Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises)
Article
Firm Constraints on the Link between Proactive Innovation, Open Innovation and Firm Performance
J. Open Innov. Technol. Mark. Complex. 2019, 5(4), 88; https://doi.org/10.3390/joitmc5040088 - 23 Oct 2019
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 1249
Abstract
This study aims to examine the impacts of firm constraints and proactive innovation on firm performance, using a sample of 3504 small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in Vietnam from 2011–2015. Our findings suggest that technological innovations in general are beneficial to firm performance, [...] Read more.
This study aims to examine the impacts of firm constraints and proactive innovation on firm performance, using a sample of 3504 small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in Vietnam from 2011–2015. Our findings suggest that technological innovations in general are beneficial to firm performance, increasing firm sales and profits. Further filtering innovations into two categories of proactive and reactive ones, we find that reactive innovation negatively affects firm performance, consistent with the view that proactive entrepreneurial behavior is a highly sought-after characteristic or a valuable resource for a firm as specified in resources-based theory. Finally, our result implies that if firms have low constraint or have sufficient resources, proactive strategies should be the choice if firms seek to improve their performance. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Open Innovation in Micro, Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises)
Article
Open Innovation in SMEs: Potential and Realized Absorptive Capacity for Interorganizational Learning in Dyad Collaborations with Academia
J. Open Innov. Technol. Mark. Complex. 2019, 5(3), 72; https://doi.org/10.3390/joitmc5030072 - 19 Sep 2019
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 1437
Abstract
Due to a variety of barriers to develop innovation, small and medium enterprises (SMEs) find it necessary to collaborate with external sources of knowledge. The current study analyses the collaboration between SMEs and academia over an open innovation setting in Mexico. An absorptive [...] Read more.
Due to a variety of barriers to develop innovation, small and medium enterprises (SMEs) find it necessary to collaborate with external sources of knowledge. The current study analyses the collaboration between SMEs and academia over an open innovation setting in Mexico. An absorptive capacity (ACAP) approach has been applied to understanding the process of developing new knowledge for achieving innovation. A two-part questionnaire was developed with the aim of assessing the ACAP of a new joint research unit. Data was collected from a local group of SMEs that collaborated as dyads with academia supported by a government program of innovation in Mexico. The result shows that there was a moderate potential and realized ACAP in the sample; these results are mutually related with both parts of the questionnaire which supports our findings. In conclusion, exploitation of new knowledge is a complex dimension for creating value from collaboration, which makes the outcome difficult to measure using traditional means. It can be argued that exploiting new knowledge for innovation is an iterative process of learning when exploring new sources of knowledge from academia. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Open Innovation in Micro, Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises)
Article
Innovation Strategy in Small and Medium Sized Enterprises (SMEs) in the Context of Growth and Recession Indicators
J. Open Innov. Technol. Mark. Complex. 2019, 5(2), 32; https://doi.org/10.3390/joitmc5020032 - 12 Jun 2019
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 1742
Abstract
The implementation of innovation strategies in SMEs is subjected to changes in the economic cycle. The reliability of economic trend indicators varies according to economic trends. The author deals with the relationship between selected business cycle survey indicators and time periods that correspond [...] Read more.
The implementation of innovation strategies in SMEs is subjected to changes in the economic cycle. The reliability of economic trend indicators varies according to economic trends. The author deals with the relationship between selected business cycle survey indicators and time periods that correspond to the different phases of the economic cycle between the years 2003–2017. The aim of the article is to find out whether selected business cycle surveys indicators are equally reliable across the economic cycle. To solve the problem, first, the consensus of a selected business cycle surveys indicator and the performance of the mechanical engineering industry were evaluated, and then, the results were put into the context of the time period and tested with nonparametric ANOVA. The results show that the selected indicator was more reliable in periods of growth and less reliable in downturns, which is a signal for SMEs as to how to interpret the business cycle surveys. The use of future development assessments provides important information for businesses that make investment decisions and help them think over funding for innovation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Open Innovation in Micro, Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises)
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Article
Sustaining Innovation: Creativity among Employees of Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises and Students in Higher Education Institutions in Brunei Darussalam
J. Open Innov. Technol. Mark. Complex. 2019, 5(2), 25; https://doi.org/10.3390/joitmc5020025 - 07 May 2019
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1825
Abstract
This paper compares creativity experiences and perceptions among employees of small and medium-sized enterprises (SME) and students in higher education institutions (HEI) in Brunei Darussalam. The study was conducted through interactions and surveys to assess (i) understanding and practice of creative tools and [...] Read more.
This paper compares creativity experiences and perceptions among employees of small and medium-sized enterprises (SME) and students in higher education institutions (HEI) in Brunei Darussalam. The study was conducted through interactions and surveys to assess (i) understanding and practice of creative tools and techniques; (ii) creativity performance in teams and individuals and (iii) perception of creativity among 39 employees in SME and 68 students from HEI. Statistical analysis was carried out using Pearson’s chi-square test for goodness of fit and Cramer’s V test to estimate strength tests for correlation. The findings indicate a majority in both groups have not received prior instruction in creativity and that employees of SMEs have less interest in receiving creative instructions. There is consensus among both groups that group work will result in greater creative performance. Ambiguity of customer needs or requirement was a factor most often cited to impede creative performance of teams in SME. Results from this study were used to make recommendations to improve practice and learning creativity in SME and HEI. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Open Innovation in Micro, Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises)
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