The aim of this paper is to classify firms according to dimensions of product innovativeness (PI) and identify differences in performance on the product and the firm basis in the context of SMEs.
To answer the questions this empirical study raises, a sample of 128 SMEs is clustered on the basis of the PI construct. After validating the clusters, an analysis of variance is performed to detect differences, if any, across performance measures on PI profiles of SMEs.
This paper provides evidence in support of three groups featuring different levels of PI, namely the straight imitators (low PI), the product innovators (high PI) and the concept innovators (medium PI). Further, it shows that these groups demonstrate differences in their performance potential at the product but not at the firm level.
This paper refers to an empirical study of SMEs in a European Union (EU) member state since 1981, namely Greece, which is far from restricted to the evidence provided herein. Further research is needed to confirm and extend the present results by replicating the principal features of this study with SMEs in countries within the EU, especially small ones.
The identification of successful PI profiles could become a major challenge to the management of SMEs. At a national context, this identification could direct efforts in designing different supportive actions for different groups of SMEs according to their PI profiles within the wider EU innovation policy initiatives.
The paper provides insights into supportive actions for different groups of SMEs according to their PI profiles.
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