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Is innovation always beneficial? A meta-analysis of the relationship between innovation and performance in SMEs

Rosenbusch, Nina and Brinckmann, J. and Bausch, A. (2011) Is innovation always beneficial? A meta-analysis of the relationship between innovation and performance in SMEs. Journal of Business Venturing, 26 (4). 441–457. ISSN 0883-9026

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Abstract

The performance implications of innovation in small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) have attracted considerable interest among academics and practitioners. However, empirical research on the innovation–performance relationship in SMEs shows controversial results. This meta-analysis synthesizes empirical findings in order to obtain evidence whether and especially under which circumstances smaller, resource-scarce firms benefit from innovation. We find that innovation–performance relationship is context dependent. Factors such as the age of the firm, the type of innovation, and the cultural context affect the impact of innovation on firm performance to a large extent.