Identifying the configurational paths to innovation in SMEs: a fuzzy-set qualitative comparative analysis

Meysam Poorkavoos, Yanqing Duan*, John S. Edwards, Ramakrishnan Ramanathan

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Using fuzzy-set qualitative comparative analysis (fsQCA), this study investigates the conditions leading to a higher level of innovation. More specifically, the study explores the impact of inter-organisational knowledge transfer networks and organisations' internal capabilities on different types of innovation in Small to Medium size Enterprises (SMEs) in the high-tech sector. A survey instrument was used to collect data from a sample of UK SMEs. The findings show that although individual factors are important, there is no need for a company to perform well in all the areas. The fsQCA, which enables the examination of the impacts of different combinations of factors, reveals that there are a number of paths to achieve better incremental and radical innovation performance. Companies need to choose the one that is closest to their abilities and fits best with their resources.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5843–5854
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Business Research
Issue number12
Early online date1 May 2016
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2016

Bibliographical note

© 2016, Elsevier. Licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International


  • FsQCA
  • innovation
  • innovation management
  • inter-firm networks
  • knowledge transfer


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