Process innovation in small and medium-sized enterprises: The critical role of external knowledge sourcing and absorptive capacity


Although previous studies have contributed substantially to our understanding of the role of external collaboration on product innovation in the context of high-tech industries in developed countries, there has been limited attention to the role of knowledge search on process innovation in small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) operating in extreme institutional environments. Drawing on the open innovation and absorptive capacity literatures, two key findings emerge from our study of 124 SMEs operating in the automotive industry. First, we find that external knowledge search breadth, but not depth, is related to the development of process innovation. Second, process innovation is positively related to performance.

Divisions: College of Business and Social Sciences > Aston Business School
College of Business and Social Sciences > Aston Business School > Economics, Finance & Entrepreneurship
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Additional Information: This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis Group in Journal of Small Business Management on 6 Dec 2020, available online at:
Publication ISSN: 1540-627X
Last Modified: 29 Nov 2023 12:55
Date Deposited: 07 Dec 2020 15:01
Full Text Link: 10.1080/00472778.2020.1844491
Related URLs: https://www.tan ... rnalCode=ujbm20 (Publisher URL)
http://www.scop ... tnerID=8YFLogxK (Scopus URL)
PURE Output Type: Article
Published Date: 2020-12-06
Published Online Date: 2020-12-06
Accepted Date: 2020-11-10
Authors: Aliasghar, Omid
Sadeghi, Arash
Rose, Elizabeth



Version: Accepted Version

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