THE CHARACTERISTICS OF INNOVATION-INTENSIVE SMALL FIRMS: EVIDENCE FROM "NORTHERN BRITAIN"
Drawing upon data from a sample of 597 small manufacturing firms, the current paper hopes to contribute to the emerging body of empirical literature, which seeks to distinguish the characteristics of more and less innovative small firms. Importantly, in so doing, a definition of innovation is employed which, at least partially, resolves many of the difficulties associated with operationalising the relativity of "innovativeness" and which places the emphasis upon innovation as a commercial, rather than a technological, phenomenon. To this end, a number of noteworthy observations are apparent. In broad terms, the paper points to the limits of viewing innovation output as a simple function of the volume of inputs. In other words, capability appears to matter at least as much as capacity. Moreover, the findings place the means of improving innovativeness firmly within the ambit of executives and suggest that these are likely to involve internal strategising and the development of human and intellectual capital.
Small firms, innovation intensity, innovation policy
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