Purpose: The aim of this paper is to investigate the effectiveness of business improvement methods (BIM/TQM) in contributing to innovation implementation in SMEs within peripheral regions. Design/methodology/approach: A survey with responses from 606 SMEs in the North West European peripheral regions was administered. The survey explores the role of a range of business improvement methods (BIM/TQM) as an antecedent or stimulant in helping to achieve three levels of effective innovation implementation: introducing new products/services; engaging in innovation that resulted in major product/service innovation (radical), and engaging in innovation activities that did not result in major product innovation (incremental), and non-innovative. Findings: The findings show that BIM/TQM was likely to stimulate and encourage the development of incremental levels of innovation in the SMEs where there was an emphasis on the people, or organic aspects of BIM/TQM applied, rather than more mechanistic BIM/TQM approaches. However, there was a lack of a clear link between BIM/TQM and radical innovation where newness in products/services and markets was required. Originality/value: There is a paucity of studies that probe the effectiveness of applying business improvement methods in stimulating innovation implementation, especially in peripheral regions and involving multiple levels of innovation.
|Number of pages||23|
|Journal||Journal of Small Business and Enterprise Development|
|Publication status||Published - Feb 2013|
- Business improvement
- Peripheral regions
- Small to medium-sized enterprises