Innovation in Small and Medium Sized Firms in the Electronics Industry

  • Mary Bernadette McGrane

    Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy


    This research project addresses the subject of the
    contribution of small and medium sized electronics firms
    to innovative activity. The definition adopted for firms
    falling within the remit of study was that they
    should employ no more than 2UU people and be wholly

    An analysis was attempted of the research undertaken
    on the smaller firm sector as a whole and a comparison
    was drawn between present government policy towards
    the sector and that forwarded by small firis commentators.
    Attention then focussed on the electronics industry.
    Interviews were conducted at 51 smaller electronics
    firms with a view to determining how those involved
    in the industry saw the role of such firms on both
    a general level and, more specifically, their
    contribution to innovative activity.

    It was found that although product innovation was
    apparent, by far the largest share of innovative activity
    was devoted to the process innovation field. Many
    of these process innovations are kept secret from
    competitors to enable the smaller firm to survive in
    a competitive environment. One of the most
    interesting facts to emerge was that innovation was
    used, in some instances, to enable the firm to remain

    The research concludes with a brief summary of the
    implications of the findings on both a yeneral and
    a more specific level.
    Date of Award1984
    Original languageEnglish


    • innovation
    • electronics
    • smaller
    • firms

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