Innovation capability for SME success: perspectives of financial and operational performance
Saunila, Minna (2014-07-29)
Post-print / Final draft
Journal of Advances in Management Research
School of Engineering Science
The relationship between overall innovation and innovation capability, and performance has been a topic of several earlier studies. However, the effects of the aspects of innovation capability on performance of a firm have stayed unfamiliar. The purpose of this paper is to study the relationship between organizational innovation capability and firm performance. The study contributes to the current understanding by presenting the important aspects of organizational innovation capability that affect firm performance. The effects are studied to both financial and operational performance.
The approach of this study is quantitative. The data used to test the hypotheses were gathered from Finnish small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) with a web-based questionnaire. The sample covered 2,400 SMEs employing 11-249 persons and having a revenue of two to 50 Meuro. The sample was randomly selected.
The findings showed that three aspects of innovation capability, namely ideation and organizing structures, participatory leadership culture, and know-how development, has some effect on different aspects of firm performance. Surprisingly, the aspects of innovation capability were found to be more influential to the financial performance than operational performance.
The paper contains suggestions for improving performance through developing innovation capability. The paper aims to support practice in two ways. First, organizations can identify aspects of innovation capability that affect operational and financial performance. In that way, organizations can benefit the results by applying these aspects in their everyday operations. Second, the results of the paper may help professionals to begin to understand that leveraging innovation capability may improve an organization's performance.
Previous research has often either concentrated on innovation capability as a one dimension without studying the relationship aspect by aspect or studying only the effects of one aspect of innovation capability. The results of the study take one step further by investigating the relationship of multiple aspects of innovation capability and firm performance.
Saunila, M. (2014). Innovation capability for SME success: perspectives of financial and operational performance. Journal of Advances in Management Research, vol. 11, issue 2. pp. 163-175. DOI: 10.1108/JAMR-11-2013-0063
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