Business model and innovation orientations in manufacturing SMEs: An Australian multi-case study

Ronald C Beckett, Ross L Chapman


Research studies of SME innovation practice observe some common themes, such as an orientation towards networking, and some differences that may seem activity-related (e.g. production or service). In this paper we suggest the kinds of innovation activity undertaken by an SME will depend on their dominant business model and owner/enterprise attitudes, each one being moderated by purposeful networking. This is illustrated in our review of data from 50 case studies, where combining a CEO narrative analysis with secondary data on the nature of the firm has identified seven generic manufacturing business models. We observe these may be adopted singly or in combination to pursue a competitive advantage, and the dominant business model may change over time as new capabilities are developed and/or in response to market changes.


Innovation; Business Model; Networks; Manufacturing; SMEs; Discontinuous Innovation.

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© FEUP EdiçõesThe International Journal on Multidisciplinary Approaches on InnovationISSN 2183-0606