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Innovation capabilities and performance: are they truly linked in SMEs?

Gonzalo Maldonado-Guzmán (Centro de Ciencias Económicas y Administrativas, Universidad Autónoma de Aguascalientes, Aguascalientes, Mexico)
Jose Arturo Garza-Reyes (Centre for Supply Chain Improvement, The University of Derby, Derby, UK)
Sandra Yesenia Pinzón-Castro (Centro de Ciencias Económicas y Administrativas, Universidad Autónoma de Aguascalientes, Aguascalientes, Mexico)
Vikas Kumar (Bristol Business School, University of the West of England, Bristol, UK)

International Journal of Innovation Science

ISSN: 1757-2223

Publication date: 26 March 2019

Abstract

Purpose

In an environment where business uncertainty is the norm, developing innovation capability in an organisation is increasingly important. The purpose of this paper is to investigate the effects that innovation capabilities have on the business performance of small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) within the context of a regional developing and emerging economy of Mexico, in this case, Aguascalientes.

Design/methodology/approach

The approach of this study is quantitative. Four research hypotheses were formulated and tested using structural equation modelling (SEM). Data were collected through a questionnaire survey responded by 308 SMEs located in the Aguascalientes state of Mexico.

Findings

The results obtained show that innovation in products, processes, marketing and management has a positive and significant effect on the business return of Mexican SMEs.

Originality/value

The paper complements the limited body of knowledge currently existent in the SMEs innovation literature, particularly when compared to that of large organisations. Similar works in other settings have provided mixed results in regards to the effects that innovation capabilities have on the business performance of SMEs. Thus, this paper offers a refined understanding and validation of the relationship between innovation capabilities and business performance, especially within the context of SMEs, and insights into some of the innovation aspects that managers may consider when formulating the strategies of their organisations. Finally, it enables such relationship to be understood within a particular situation, contributing in this manner to expand the body of knowledge in the innovation field.

Keywords

Citation

Maldonado-Guzmán, G., Garza-Reyes, J.A., Pinzón-Castro, S.Y. and Kumar, V. (2019), "Innovation capabilities and performance: are they truly linked in SMEs?", International Journal of Innovation Science, Vol. 11 No. 1, pp. 48-62. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJIS-12-2017-0139

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

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