Innovative Characteristics of Small and Medium Enterprises


  • Barbara Bigliardi Industrial Enginnering Department University of Parma
  • Pierluigi Colacino Industrial Enginnering Department University of Parma
  • Alberto Ivo Dormio Industrial Enginnering Department University of Parma



innovation, SMEs, Italy, manufacturing industry


The purpose of the paper is to investigate the technological innovative characteristics in the Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) belonging to the Italian manufacturing sector. A survey based on e-mail and fax questionnaire of 285 SMEs was conducted with a response rate of about 45%. On the basis of this survey, the innovative profile of SMEs has been highlighted as well as the factors and problems of innovative process analyzed. The methodology consisted in a descriptive analysis on general data and in a discriminant analysis on data related to the innovative activity and aimed at determine the factors distinguishing more and less innovative companies. The results show that innovative firms are market anticipation and customer focus, point to product enrichment in terms of different characteristics in respect to competitors’ products in order to obtain a superior product in terms of quality. Innovation results to be part of their business strategy and is based more around developing new ways of working than new product innovations.


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Author Biographies

Barbara Bigliardi, Industrial Enginnering Department University of Parma

Industrial Engineering Department University of Parma

Pierluigi Colacino, Industrial Enginnering Department University of Parma

Industrial Enginnering Department University of Parma

Alberto Ivo Dormio, Industrial Enginnering Department University of Parma

Industrial Enginnering Department University of Parma


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How to Cite

Bigliardi, B., Colacino, P., & Dormio, A. I. (2011). Innovative Characteristics of Small and Medium Enterprises. Journal of Technology Management & Innovation, 6(2), 83–93.



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