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Innovation in Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises: A Study of Businesses in New South Wales, Australia

This paper examines the process of innovation within SMEs, focusing on a sample of firms in New South Wales, Australia. The trend of the last several decades towards increased integration of global markets, or globalization, has meant that many firms are experiencing continuously increasing pressure to remain viable as their markets expand, and they begin competing with a larger number of firms. SMEs, in particular, are vulnerable to this pressure, since they tend to be disadvantaged relative to larger firms that generally have better access to funding and other resources. The ways in which SMEs operate to remain economically viable, and contribute to economic performance, is of especial interest to governments given the prominent roles that they play in most economies. One way of doing so is through innovation. In this paper, we present a more complex model of the innovation process than the traditional linear model involving R&D investment, what we term the "Ripple Effect Model", building upon recent developments in the literature. The Ripple-Effect Model appears to be substantially supported.

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Paper provided by School of Economics, University of Wollongong, NSW, Australia in its series Economics Working Papers with number wp06-04.

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Length: 44 pages
Date of creation: 2006
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:uow:depec1:wp06-04
Contact details of provider: Postal: School of Economics, University of Wollongong, Northfields Avenue, Wollongong NSW 2522 Australia
Phone: +612 4221-3659
Fax: +612 4221-3725
Web page: http://business.uow.edu.au/econ/index.html

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  1. DeBresson, Chris & Amesse, Fernand, 1991. "Networks of innovators :A review and introduction to the issue," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 20(5), pages 363-379, October.
  2. Acs, Zoltan J. & Anselin, Luc & Varga, Attila, 2002. "Patents and innovation counts as measures of regional production of new knowledge," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 31(7), pages 1069-1085, September.
  3. Jan Fagerberg & Bart Verspagen, 2001. "Technology-Gaps, Innovation-Diffusion And Transformation: An Evolutionary Interpretation," Working Papers 11, Centre for Technology, Innovation and Culture, University of Oslo.
  4. Deroian, Frederic, 2002. "Formation of social networks and diffusion of innovations," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 31(5), pages 835-846, July.
  5. Hallberg, K., 2000. "A Market-Oriented Strategy for Small and Medium Scale Enterprises," Papers 40, World Bank - International Finance Corporation.
  6. Tether, B. S., 1998. "Small and large firms: sources of unequal innovations?," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 27(7), pages 725-745, November.
  7. Cohen, Wesley M & Klepper, Steven, 1996. "Firm Size and the Nature of Innovation within Industries: The Case of Process and Product R&D," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 78(2), pages 232-43, May.
  8. Mark Rogers, 2004. "Networks, Firm Size and Innovation," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 22(2), pages 141-153, 03.
  9. Paul M Romer, 1999. "Increasing Returns and Long-Run Growth," Levine's Working Paper Archive 2232, David K. Levine.
  10. Kenneth Arrow, 1962. "Economic Welfare and the Allocation of Resources for Invention," NBER Chapters, in: The Rate and Direction of Inventive Activity: Economic and Social Factors, pages 609-626 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Acs, Zoltan J & Audretsch, David B, 1987. "Innovation, Market Structure, and Firm Size," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 69(4), pages 567-74, November.
  12. Tether, Bruce S., 2002. "Who co-operates for innovation, and why: An empirical analysis," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 31(6), pages 947-967, August.
  13. Rinaldo Evangelista & Tore Sandven & Giorgio Sirilli & Keith Smith, 1998. "Measuring Innovation in European Industry," International Journal of the Economics of Business, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 5(3), pages 311-333.
  14. Oi, Walter Y, 1983. "Heterogeneous Firms and the Organization of Production," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 21(2), pages 147-71, April.
  15. Mytelka, Lynn K. & Smith, Keith, 2002. "Policy learning and innovation theory: an interactive and co-evolving process," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 31(8-9), pages 1467-1479, December.
  16. Nooteboom, Bart, 1999. "Innovation and inter-firm linkages: new implications for policy," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 28(8), pages 793-805, November.
  17. Brown, Charles & Medoff, James, 1989. "The Employer Size-Wage Effect," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 97(5), pages 1027-59, October.
  18. Dosi, Giovanni, 1988. "Sources, Procedures, and Microeconomic Effects of Innovation," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 26(3), pages 1120-71, September.
  19. Richard R. Nelson & Sidney G. Winter, 1978. "Forces Generating and Limiting Concentration under Schumpeterian Competition," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 9(2), pages 524-548, Autumn.
  20. Cohen, Wesley M. & Levin, Richard C., 1989. "Empirical studies of innovation and market structure," Handbook of Industrial Organization, in: R. Schmalensee & R. Willig (ed.), Handbook of Industrial Organization, edition 1, volume 2, chapter 18, pages 1059-1107 Elsevier.
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