In Britain there has been considerable growth in the small firms sector during the 1980s. Whilst some have been at the forefront of technological innovation, many others outside the high‐tech area have been more reluctant to change. Aspects of the role of small firms in the economy are noted and some of the helps and hindrances to technological innovation in such firms are reviewed. Four company cases from the components industry are featured, outlining how these companies introduced various types of technological change to improve quality and integrate their manufacturing processes. The factors which led them to consider technological change and the ways in which they managed the process are outlined in relation to market pressures. Their experiences point to the importance of human factors and training within strategies for change.
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