New process technologies: Barriers to adoption in small firms

A. Ghobadian, K. Mole*, N. O'Regan

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This project explores the barriers that hamper SMEs from adopting new process technologies. Previous research suggests that process innovations enhance productivity appreciably. Often, economics literature on new technology adoption relates to developing countries; do these findings and theories hold for industrial countries' SMEs? The paper reports a national survey sent to SMEs within the engineering and electronic industries. The regression equation indicates that process innovation was a response to competition, as firms were 'pushed' to introduce new techniques. Yet, our research highlights other factors: the importance of strategic plans and a focus on innovation in those firms with the capacity to raise their heads above the day-to-day struggle for survival.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)549-562
Number of pages14
JournalInternational Journal of Manufacturing Technology and Management
Issue number5-6
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2003


  • Manufacturing strategy
  • SMEs
  • Technology adoption


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