Methods for modeling and supporting innovation processes in SMEs

Publication Type:

Journal Article


European Journal of Innovation Management, Volume 8, Issue 1, Number 1, p.120–137 (2005)


Coordination, Organizational Modelling


Purpose – Sets out to investigate business modeling techniques (BMTs) which can be used to support and improve innovation processes within small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).

Design/methodology/approach – Based on a literature review, different analysis perspectives on innovation processes are identified and discussed, and some firm needs and problems are pointed out. The importance of BMTs to firms is further tested by an empirical study whose initial results are
reported. Finally, by matching problems and techniques characterized by the same ontology, the BMTs most suitable to address SME needs are identified and their role within the innovation process discussed.

Findings – The main result of the paper is the identification of the problems facing SMEs in innovation processes and the possible support offered by BMTs. Though methods and models alone do not assure the success in the innovation development process (IDP), they are enabling factors and
can support the creation of strategies, reasoning, insights and communication.

Originality/value – The adoption of such BMTs, facilitating the codification of the characteristics of the IDP, might be particularly useful in those environments where, due to the lack of specialized resources, it is difficult to structure all of the information related to the innovation process and to
exploit the related benefits and opportunities.


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