The ability to innovate and to increase knowledge in today’s marketplace are two skills that make a business stronger, particularly in the economy we are now experiencing in which standing still is becoming the same as losing ground. But how are we to innovate and increase our knowledge? First and foremost, we must also ask ourselves if innovation and knowledge methodologies are the same for all, regardless of the type of business involved in the given process of change.
In their study “The relationship between innovation, knowledge, and performance in family and non-family firms: an analysis of SMEs”, published in June in the Journal of Innovation and Entrepreneurship, three researchers at Washburn University (Topeka, Kansas) – David Price, Michael Stoica and Robert J. Boncella – explore this aspect of management of the culture of enterprise.
The study looks into the relationship between innovation and knowledge in both family and non-family businesses and on the impact that this has on business performance and on the approach to making business decisions and is based on an analysis of data on 430 small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in a range of industry segments.
The three authors reached a conclusion that might, at first glance, seem obvious, i.e. that innovation and knowledge can truly be sources of competitive advantage for all businesses, but particularly for SMEs. But true success arises from the delicate balance between business administration, a spirit and culture of enterprise, employee engagement, and a focus on technologies and the marketplace. Knowledge, in and of itself, is not enough, nor is innovation detached from the business in which it is to be applied. Not to mention the fact that, as the authors explain, each business, and each business owner, is able to come up with a unique synthesis of knowledge and innovation, even when starting from the same knowledge base as other businesses and business owners. Perhaps it is here that we see the spirit of a business, in its ability to create something new out of something that already exists.
The relationship between innovation, knowledge, and performance in family and non-family firms: an analysis of SMEs
David Price, Michael Stoica & Robert J. Boncella
Journal of Innovation and Entrepreneurship, June 2013