FAST-GROWING SMEs AND THE ROLE OF INNOVATION
In a study of 409 Swedish SMEs, the difference between the highest growing, which can be characterized as gazelles, and the lowest growing companies were examined regarding performance change over a four year period and what contributed to the growth from an innovation perspective. It was concluded that, besides growing, the highest growing companies also showed high profitability,increased number of employees, and significantly higher markets shares locally, nationally and internationally than the lowest growing companies. Several traits were found to contribute to this. The highest growing companies had a significantly higher portion of new products as part of the turnover during the four years studied and they perceived themselves as differentiating from their competitors concerning: (1) offering better products, (2) understanding customer needs better, (3) having a higher pace or being more agile, and (4) keeping costs down. They also found it more important to take risks, reinvest any profit, and to focus on growth than the lowest growing companies, and this regardless of industry.
Volume (Year): 16 (2012)
Issue (Month): 03 ()
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