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Track 8.4 - Open innovation in SMEs

Carène TCHUINOU TCHOUWO, Ph.D Candidate (Management), Université Laval
Diane POULIN, Profesor (Management Department), Université Laval


Track's Contacts : 

carene.tchuinou-tchouwo.1[AT]ulaval.ca
diane.poulin[AT]fsa.ulaval.ca


This track aims to examine current research on open innovation (OI) in small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). In fact, because OI has been mainly developed for large companies, its definition and its identifying characteristics do not always take into account the contexts and specific characteristics of SMEs (small and medium-sized enterprises). Indeed, SMEs find it challenging to engage in OI. They are sometimes hampered by their inherent limitations, such as scarcity of resources, weakly developed innovation processes, and unstructured internal capabilities. On the other hand, they are less bureaucratic, are more flexible in decision-making, take more risks, and often have specialized knowledge in a specific market. As a result, some SMEs manage to meet the challenges of OI while others do not.

We want to explore the specific characteristics of OI in SMEs (practices, tools, players, etc.) and to identify the determinants that enable SMEs to overcome its limitations and innovate openly. Although there is some recent research on OI within the SMEs, this field is still largely unexplored. Little is known about the characteristics and determinants of OI in such companies Thus, there have recently been new calls to clarify the concept in the context of SMEs, and this proposition will be a response to these calls.