High Tech Businesses in the UK: performance and niche markets
This paper presents the findings of a survey of 237 high tech small and medium sized businesses based in the UK. The survey is part of an ongoing comparative study of high tech small businesses in the UK and Japan. The paper describes the growth, innovative activity and market structure of businesses studied. Based on characteristics of the businesses and their CEOs five 'types' of high tech small business are identified. Differences between the types of business in respect of market structure, competitive advantages and limitations suggest fundamental differences in 'niche' markets. At one extreme are niche markets in which the technology is embodied in the person: the scientific or technical expert, at the other niche markets in which the technology is embodied in the product or service product. Implications for innovation, growth and policy associated with these differences are discussed.
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