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Determinants of innovative development and their importance for small and medium-sized enterprises in Poland

nt. J.
nnovation and Learnin
, Vol. 29, No. 1, 2021 67
Copyright © 2021 Inderscience Enterprises Ltd.
Determinants of innovative development and their
importance for small and medium-sized enterprises in
Robert Stanisławski
Department of European Integration and International Marketing,
Faculty of Management and Production Engineering,
Lodz University of Technology,
Wólczańska Street 215; 90-924 Lodz, Poland
Abstract: Poland is a country poorly developed in terms of its innovativeness.
It belongs to the penultimate group of countries according to the innovation
level (moderate innovators). Despite its overall innovative development, a
sharp decline (retardation) of innovative activity has been noted in the case of
small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the last year. Hence, the need
for analysing determinants (factors) of their innovative development. In the
framework of this article, three groups of factors were taken into account:
SMEs’ strategy, resources and willingness to cooperate with the environment
(open innovation). The analysis of their significance was made on the basis of
the research carried out in 2016 on a group of 819 entities. It covered only
those SMEs which had conducted innovative activity in the past three years,
had headquarters in one of six voivodships in Poland and primarily conducted
manufacturing activities. As part of the study, researchers answered the
questions regarding the strength and significance of as well as the reasons for
the impact of these determinants on SMEs’ innovative development. The main
aim of the article is to provide a multi-threaded overview of the issues of
innovative development of SMEs and to conduct an analysis of determinants in
this field.
Keywords: innovative development; innovativeness; innovations; determinants
of innovative development; small and medium-sized enterprises; SMEs; open
innovation; Poland.
Reference to this paper should be made as follows: Stanisławski, R. (2021)
‘Determinants of innovative development and their importance for small and
medium-sized enterprises in Poland’, Int. J. Innovation and Learning, Vol. 29,
No. 1, pp.67–88.
Biographical notes: Robert Stanisławski has been a Professor at the
Department of European Integration and International Marketing of Faculty of
Management and Production Engineering in the Technical University of Lodz
since 2004. His research interests are involved in Eurologistics, European
integration, the SME sector in Poland and Europe, and also the innovativeness
(open innovation) of this sector in the Polish and European area. His scientific
publications include about 120 articles (authorship and co-authorship) at the
national and international editions and many monographs which were edited by
him in Polish as well as English version.
68 R. Stanisławski
1 Introduction
The recent increase of interest in innovation-related issues is entirely justified. This
interest applies to equally important thematic areas including: analysis of internal and
external conditions for innovative development, study of dynamic innovation capacity,
study of cultural factors of organisations directly and indirectly affecting innovation
implementation, or analysis of new trends, concepts and paradigms of impact on
innovative development (Elmquist et al., 2009). The role of this development is
particularly important for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). It provides them
not only with the possibility of gaining a current market advantage but also with a
relative stability of functioning in the perspective of the next few years. This is extremely
important from the point of view of changes in the environment, referred to as ‘turbulent
environment’, which is extremely variable and unpredictable. Therefore, it is justified to
formulate the thesis that innovative development is one of key conditions ensuring
conducting business activity in a competitive market. This is extremely important
especially for Polish SMEs which are less innovative entities than SMEs in other
countries of the European Union (EU) (Breznitz and Ornston, 2017). There are many
reasons for this situation. However, in the Polish literature, the most common reasons are:
an insufficient level of own tangible and intangible resources, mental factors arising from
concerns about own intangible resources, or not enough ‘innovative’ society
(Stanisławski, 2017). These reasons (also known as barriers) will be discussed in many
places in the article, constituting a kind of reference point for the analysis carried out in
In global terms, the EU is still lagging behind countries such as South Korea, Canada,
Australia, or Japan. However, the EU’s undoubted success is the improvement of its
situation in relation to the US in 2018. The next positions in the ranking of innovative
development behind the EU are taken by: China and Russia, of which the highest growth
rate concerns the first of these countries. Considering the dynamics of changes in the
level of this development, it should be noted that the most innovative Member States are
(since 2011): Latvia, Malta, Greece, Great Britain, Estonia, and the Netherlands.
However, a decrease was recorded in Romania and Slovenia. Taking into account the
division of the EU Member States into four groups (leaders, strong innovators, moderate
innovators and weak innovators) made using the summary innovation index (SII), four
countries emerged as leaders: Denmark, Finland, the Netherlands, and Sweden. However,
Poland was included in the group of moderate innovators the third of the groups
mentioned above (Hollanders et al., 2019). It should be emphasised that this situation has
not changed since 2015, when Poland changed the group from the last one to the
penultimate one (Hollanders and Es-Sadki, 2015). Nevertheless, the data show that SII
(innovative activity) in Poland slightly increased from the level of 53.3 in 2011 to 61.1 in
2018 (+13%) over the past seven years, which allows us to consider this indicator in
terms of ‘innovative development’. The largest increase in innovative activities
undertaken took place between 2017 and 2018, as in this period the SII level increased
from 57 to the above-mentioned level of 61.1 (+ 6.7%). In the years 2011–2015, the SII
was definitely below the 2011 level (SII = 53), which indicates Poland’s ‘regression’ in
terms of innovativeness.
Despite the current slight increase in the overall level of SII (especially in the last
year), innovative activity regarding implemented innovations among SMEs has
significantly decreased (from the SII level of 29.4 in 2011 to SII of 15.0 in 2019). The
Determinants of innovative development and their importance 69
largest decrease in innovative activity is related to marketing and organisational
innovations (from the SII level of 27.7 in 2011 to the level of 2.1 in 2018) (13 times).
There is a much smaller difference in the case of product and process innovations, where
SII decreased from 35.7 in 2011 to 25.5 in 2018 (–40%). Also to a large extent, there was
a ‘backward’ trend observed in SMEs’ own innovative activities (from the level of
24.8 in 2011 to 17.2 in 2018) (-44%). All these three elements are definitely below the
average SII values in the EU, which are respectively: 35.6; 34.3 and 28.1 (Hollanders
et al., 2019). To sum up, in the last seven years there has been a regression in the area of
innovativeness of Polish small and medium enterprises. Therefore, there has been no
actual innovative development of SMEs to speak of, which is an extremely negative
phenomenon from the perspective of the whole economy as well as individual entities. It
leads to a weakening of enterprises’ competitive position in the European and global
market. It is justifiable therefore to confirm the earlier formulated thesis that Polish SMEs
are the least-developed enterprises in the EU. Thus, there is the need to analyse
determinants directly or indirectly affecting the development of innovative SMEs in
This innovative development is determined by many factors, the most important of
which include: the tendency to cooperate with the environment (the use of open concept),
the size of resources held and the possibility of supplementing them in the environment
(resources), the ability to adapt ready solutions from the environment, or the tendency to
determine long-term goals and intentions (strategy), among which innovation is seen as
an important element of improving the current economic situation (Stanisławski, 2017).
Therefore, the importance of determinants should be considered in the context of their
impact on the propensity to improve the level of innovativeness among SMEs in Poland.
Among the above-mentioned factors, attention was focused on the following three: the
concept of open innovation, resources and strategy. They became the basis for
formulating several research questions enabling answers to many important issues.
Firstly, to what extent do these three factors influence the innovative development of
enterprises (what is their impact) and should they really be perceived in terms of
determinants of SMEs’ innovativeness in Poland? Secondly, which of these factors were
the most important for the innovative development of these enterprises and how
significant was this impact for each of these factors individually? Thirdly, what are the
(main) reasons for the significant impact of these three determinants on their innovative
development in the subjective assessment of the SMEs surveyed in Poland? However,
some interpretative and research limitations should be pointed out. The role of these
determinants was examined in 2016, while the data presented above relate to the current
period. The reasons for the decrease in SMEs’ innovativeness should not be seen in
reducing the overall role of these determinants at present, but in changing (generally) the
functioning priorities of these enterprises. In the era of ‘economic prosperity’, their
functioning is mainly focused on current activities concentrated on maximising market
effects, including sales and profit, and not on current (and continuous) innovative
development. However, this does not mean that the significance of ‘strategy’ as a
determining factor has diminished. Enterprises aware of the importance of innovation
have ‘postponed’ the implementation of their innovation intentions, taking them into
account in their future plans. Hence, it is assumed that the assessment of the three factors
made in 2016 is universal and their further impact depends on the emergence of market
conditions forcing the implementation of subsequent stages of the analysed innovative
development (an increase of the number of customers focused on ‘market novelties’).
70 R. Stanisławski
The research questions presented above constitute the basis for formulating the main
aim of the article, which is to provide a broad and multi-threaded overview of the issues
related to innovative development of SMEs and to conduct an analysis of determinants in
this field. This was done in both theoretical and empirical ways. In the first of these
approaches, attention was focused on the conceptualisation of the term of ‘innovative
development’ and reference was made to the characteristics of development determinants
described most often in the literature. The empirical approach was used to draw
conclusions and formulate specific theses regarding the significance and impact of these
determinants on the discussed innovative development. SMEs which are specific and
require special attention in the field of the discussed subject, became the subject of
inquiry. Their specificity relates to differences in: management, organisation,
procurement, sales, production or research (Krupski, 2009). The need to focus attention
on these enterprises is the effect of their weak economic position, on the one hand, and
the huge role they play in the global economy, on the other hand.
2 Innovative development and determinants of this development -
theoretical background
One of the key issues that need to be clarified in this article is the concept of innovative
development of enterprises. Innovative development is not a widely used concept at
present. Usually, different authors when writing about innovation and its effects use the
word ‘innovativeness.’ These concepts are not the same, although it is not a mistake to
use them interchangeably. Innovativeness can be understood as a feature that means the
ability to create, implement or absorb innovative solutions. In addition, it is focused on
acquiring the necessary resources and skills to participate in innovative processes
(Niedzielski, 2005). Innovativeness can also be understood as a state that describes in a
static manner the level of implementations made in an enterprise. Usually, their large
number means a high level of innovation of the described entity (Ruvio et al., 2014). In
view of the above, one important difference can be noted regarding innovative
development and innovation. The concept of ‘development’ includes the emotional
charge of making changes, and in the case of ‘innovative development’ these changes are
the result of innovative activity (innovative interventions undertaken in this respect).
Therefore, it is necessary to clarify the difference between innovation, innovativeness and
innovative development.
The first of these concepts consists in endowing products with features of novelty,
while the range of meaning of the second one is definitely wider. Innovativeness is a
constant tendency to search for new solutions aimed (as mentioned above) at improving
the current state. Therefore, innovativeness is a feature consisting in the constant pursuit
of making innovative changes both inside and outside the organisation (in its immediate
environment) (Stanisławski, 2017). The broadest concept is innovative development, in
which additionally aside from improving the state (transition from a lower level of
development to a higher level), all intermediate stages related to conducting specific
innovative activities are taken into account. They can be exemplified by conducting
research, intensifying the use of own resources or exploring the environment (open
innovation), and the implementation of achieved results. To sum up, innovativeness
perceived in the context of the state has a greater static character in contrast to innovation
development which is concentrated on comparing the achieved levels of innovativeness.
Determinants of innovative development and their importance 71
According to the latest discussions in this area, the concept of innovative
development is perceived in the context of organisational development and in process
terms (Stanisławski, 2017). The first of them treats the organisation as a ‘collection of
changes’ aimed at improving the current situation in many selected areas (Burke and
Bradford, 2005). These changes occur both inside and outside the organisation. Internal
changes mainly concern such elements as: beliefs, attitudes, value system, company
structure or absorption capacity related to the adaptation of new technologies (ideas,
knowledge from the environment) (Bennis, 1969). In turn, external changes are the result
of the functioning of entities in an open system, in which the enterprise affects the
environment and vice versa: the environment affects the enterprise. As a result of this
relation, a new quality is created, which is different from the existing ones, and thus the
entity achieves a better higher level of its development (Barnett, 1953). Hence, the
development of the organisation can have an internal and external dimension, which
results in acquiring the needed resources (knowledge) from the environment that
contribute to improving the efficiency of the enterprise.
Another issue is the answer to the question: when and how the organisation plans to
make changes leading to its development. The answer to its first part is quite simple: in
the case of such needs existing. These needs include the necessity of introducing changes
in the scope of: management strategy, organisational climate, organisational structure,
employee remuneration and motivation system, planning process, creating networks
enabling the increase of innovative capacity or expanding competences, expanding
knowledge and human resources (McLean, 2009; Beckhard, 1969). The above-presented
division of needs takes into account two basic dimensions: human aimed at ensuring the
best working conditions, and thus good workplace atmosphere and employee satisfaction,
as well as organisational resulting from economic conditions taking into account the
ability to cooperate in a turbulent environment or actions (interventions) undertaken to
improve competitiveness in both domestic and foreign markets (e.g., through the
implementation of innovations). The focus of enterprises only on the first of the
above-mentioned needs is criticised in the literature due to its narrow and normative
nature (Ramstad, 2008).
Answering the second part of the posed research question, it should be stated that
changes are introduced through actions also referred to as interventions. If they are
undertaken by means of innovations (through innovations) or/and they result in market
innovations, these interventions are called innovative activities (interventions). In the
literature, their classification is quite diverse. Due to the assumed goal, there are the
following interventions: repair (corrective), developmental and compensatory, which is
correlated with the degree of their intensity. Corrective interventions are usually radical
in contrast to compensatory or developmental ones, which are usually characterised by a
mild (evolutionary) degree of change (Ackerman, 1997). An inherent feature of these
activities (interventions) is the impact on the organisation in its individual areas such as:
human, technical and technological, strategic, structural, organisational (regarding
management methods and styles) (McNamara, 2009). These areas are often presented as
subsystems of a particular enterprise creating a unified and integrated organisational
system. If the changes made as a result of actions (interventions) lead to the development
of the organisation and have features of novelty improving the effectiveness of its
functioning, they are referred to as innovative development (Stanisławski, 2017).
Therefore, innovative development is the organisational development carried out by
means of interventions of an innovative nature (by innovations), in which innovation is
72 R. Stanisławski
both the final purpose of this development and at the same time a tool to achieve the
assumed goal. It is used to improve the innovative level of enterprise. The first approach
to innovative development is discussed here.
As indicated above, another way to conceptualise the concept of ‘innovative
development’ is a process approach. It covers a number of different types of activities,
methods or operations to create ‘new values’ which also constitute added value (Boulton
et al., 2001; Platonoff, 2009). It is undoubtedly the creation of “new or improved
products or services and their delivery to the market for success” (Gumusluoglu and
Ilsev, 2009). Thus, in this approach, innovative development is an innovative process
whose results include the creation, development as well as implementation and
dissemination of ‘new products (or services) or organisational changes’. Its effect is the
improvement of the current quality status of the company, which means a more
dynamically developing organisation open to the environment, able to compete in
domestic and foreign markets and willing to cooperate within the created networks of
partner connections. The process approach includes a number of elements forming a
comprehensive mechanism for managing innovative development (Stanisławski, 2017). It
consists of partial elements mechanisms of the following nature: economic (regarding the
creation of plans for the functioning and development of innovative organisations),
organisational (related to the formulation of the enterprise structure), motivational
(determining the mechanism encouraging employees to search for new solutions),
financial (presenting financing ways of new solutions) and strategic (defining ways to
achieve the goal of innovative development). Therefore, it should be emphasised that the
process approach (as well as the approach to organisational development) consists of a
number of sub-processes constituting a uniform and coherent whole. Based on the above-
described considerations, it can be stated that the process approach to innovative
development describes this phenomenon as a process (having its beginning and end)
consisting in the implementation of innovative solutions, as a result of which the level of
organisation’s innovativeness changes from lower to higher (developmental character).
Unlike the previous approach (organisational development), this approach focuses
attention on individual stages of the process, i.e., the emergence, maturation and
dissemination of innovation.
Another issue to be interpreted in this article is the discussion on determinants of
innovative development. According to the first approach presented above (organisational
development), determinants of innovative development (ID) are factors relating to
various subsystems. Between them there are internal relations and connections within the
organisation as a whole, creating a coherent system. This system is as strong as its
weakest element (Wojnicka-Sycz et al., 2018). Hence, determinants may result from the
needs of individual subsystems and relate to organisational culture, including
management methods (organisational factor), interpersonal communication systems
(human factor), tangible and intangible resources (knowledge management factor –
technological development). In the case of considering the organisation as a whole, such
determinates may include the need for: market expansion and increasing sales,
commercialisation of innovative achievements or intensification of internal innovative
activity (Zalewski and Skawińska, 2014).
However, the most commonly accepted classification regarding determinants of
innovative development is the division into internal and external ones. Among the former
determinants, the following are indicated: company characteristics (size, type of business,
age market experience of the company, area of the market in which the company
Determinants of innovative development and their importance 73
operates) (Avermaete et al., 2010), size of owned resources (Wan et al., 2005), including
material ones (financial and workforce) (Laforet, 2011) and intangible ones (knowledge),
or business management methods, including the role of models focused on cooperation
with the environment (open innovation), i.e., the use of not only internal sources of
knowledge but also external ones (Damanpour et al., 2009). In addition to them, strategy
is also indicated as a determinant that allows for building proper innovation potential in
the long term (Wojnicka-Sycz et al., 2018). Among the latter determinants, the following
factors can be identified: the location of the enterprise in regions with high R&D
potential (Andersson and Ejermo, 2005), the volume of public R&D support
(Zemplinerová and Hromádková, 2012), consumer environment and preferences
(Bayarçelika et al., 2014) and many others. The above-presented factors do not exhaust
the proposals for specifying determinants of innovative development. In practice, their
division also includes classification from the point of view of large as well as SMEs.
These factors are fundamentally different in these two groups of companies. In this
article, the focus is only on those determinants that directly affect SMEs.
3 Determinants of SMEs’ innovative development in Poland results and
3.1 Methodology and characteristics of the research sample
The analysis of determinants of innovative development is based on the results of
research conducted in 2016 on a sample of 819 SMEs in Poland. According to the
definition adopted in the EU Member States (including Poland), small and medium-sized
entities are those that employ no more than 249 people and whose annual net turnover
does not exceed 50 million EUR. In the group of these enterprises, there have been
distinguished three basic subgroups: micro (up to nine people), small (up to 49 people)
and medium-sized enterprises (up to 249 people). In addition to the quantitative criterion,
this definition includes a qualitative criterion (the size of shares in other economic
entities). This definition came into force on 1 January 2005 (Commission
Recommendation, 2003).
The research was carried out using a two-stage sample selection. The first stage was
purposeful and consisted in selecting those enterprises that were involved in innovative
activities. The necessity of purposeful selection resulted from a lack of sampling frame
(a lack of the database of innovative enterprises). The research included four basic
assumptions for purposeful selection of the research sample. Firstly (as mentioned
above), enterprises needed to conduct innovative activities (i.e., introduce at least one
innovative solution within the last three years). Secondly, they were classified as SMEs.
Thirdly, they conducted activities in one of six designated voivodships with different
levels of innovation. Fourthly, it was assumed that at least 60% of the entities surveyed
should conduct manufacturing activities (this was to focus research on ‘hard’ effects in
the form of a finished product or technology needed to produce it). The second stage,
during which 819 enterprises constituting the general population were drawn from the
group of 2,189 entities, had a random character. The randomness of the sample ensured
its representativeness, which allowed us to generalise the conclusions drawn in relation to
the general population of innovative SMEs in Poland. It seems obvious in this case that
these generalisations cannot be applied to all small and medium-sized entities in Poland.
74 R. Stanisławski
Representativeness occurs when: the sample is sufficiently large, selected at random and
similar to the general population which (as indicated above) comprises innovative SMEs
(Starzyńska and Michalski, 1996).
The research was carried out using computer-assisted telephone interviewing (CATI)
and computer-assisted web interview (CAWI) techniques. The first technique was the
main way of conducting the research (over 70% of entities), while the other was the
support and supplementation of the first technique. Combining these techniques was
intentional. It was supposed to increase efficiency and shorten the time of conducting the
research, which was also achieved. The research lasted about one month and was
completed in the second half of 2016.
The characteristics of the research sample include several elements. The first of these
is the sample structure. The sample includes three groups of entities: micro (34.3% of the
general population studied), small (40.2% of the general population) and medium (25.5%
of the general population). The second element characterising the examined sample is the
age of companies. Mature enterprises, operating on the market for over 12 years (80% of
the population) constituted the vast majority. The least numerous were entities with very
short market experience (less than three years) which in total amounted to only 2.8% of
the surveyed population. The next (third) element is the type of business. Most of the
studied enterprises were active in production (67.1% of the general population). Service
and trade activities constituted a definite minority (17.8% and 15% of the general
population respectively).
3.2 Determinants and SMEs’ innovative development
While discussing the impact of selected determinants on the innovative development of
SMEs in Poland, attention was focused on three basic factors: resources (both tangible
and intangible), strategy (understood as the direction of using available resources both
inside and outside the organisation) and cooperation with the environment (open
innovation). The choice of these three factors was not accidental. It resulted from the
need to combine into a single entity both internal and external determinants. The
existence of mutual dependencies between them is presented in the Figure 1.
A typical example of the internal determinant is the ‘strategy’, which includes plans,
assumptions and goals focused on development in which innovation plays a key role
(Stanisławski, 2017). In turn, resources are an example of both internal and external
factors affecting development. On the one hand, having resources allows the enterprise to
exploit its own knowledge, on the other hand, they mean exploration of the environment
in search for knowledge and obtaining it for the enterprise’s own needs. Exploration of
the environment requires from entities establishing mutual relations with each other,
which in principle can be treated as a manifestation of cooperation. It is the basic and
essential element of the paradigm referred to in the literature as ‘open innovation’. It
should be emphasised that between these three factors there are no clear boundaries
which can be drawn, because they are interrelated and interpenetrate. The analysis of
these three factors will take place in many stages and will require several research
questions. The first is the following: to what extent do these three factors affect the
innovative development of SMEs in Poland (what is their impact) and should they really
be seen in terms of determinants? In order to answer this question, four variables were
specified: the measure of innovative development (I) (dependent variable), the strategy
measure strategy (P) (explanatory variable), the relationship measure (open innovation)
Determinants of innovative development and their importance 75
(R) (explanatory variable), resource measure (explanatory variable) (Z). To build these
measures, a number of detailed research questions were used about the degree of
novelty of the changes introduced, the share of turnover generated by the introduced
novelties, the importance of relationships with external entities, the degree and
importance of individual resources for innovative development, and many others. These
questions related directly to the examined factor and were asked separately for each
factor, taking into account its specificity. Considering these measures (P, Z, R), a
correlation between them and innovative development (I) was determined. The obtained
results are presented in Table 1.
Figure 1 Elements shaping the innovative development of SMEs (see online version for colours)
Cooperation direction
Cooperation direction
Further surrounding
Further surrounding
Source: Stanisławski (2017)
Table 1 Correlation between I, R, P, Z measures (see online version for colours)
Variables (I) (R) (P) (Z)
(I) 1
(R) 0.152007 1
(P) 0.326012 0.12578 1
(Z) 0.306915 0.048197 0.065021 1
Source: Own elaboration based on Stanisławski R. (2017), Open innovation a
rozwój innowacyjny mikro, małych i średnich przedsiębiorstw,
Politechnika Łódzka, Monografie, Łódź..
Table 1 allows for drawing several conclusions. Firstly, the level of correlation varies
greatly. The greatest correlation exists between strategy (planning) and innovative
development (0.32 moderately strong relationship) and the weakest between relations
and innovative development (0.152 weak relationship). However, the existence of the
influence of explanatory variables on the explanatory variable (innovative development)
shows that they are determinants of this development. However, their impact strength as
mentioned above is varied. Secondly, taking into account the positive value of correlation
coefficients, it can be stated that they have a positive impact on innovative development.
Thirdly, the low values of these coefficients relative to the explanatory variables prove
that the correlation between them is not statistically significant. To sum up, the answer to
the research question posed is as follows: the level of influence of individual factors
varies (the highest level in relation to ‘strategy’, medium in the case of ‘resources’ and
the lowest one in the case of ‘open innovation’). However, all three factors are
76 R. Stanisławski
determinants influencing the innovative development of these enterprises. This is
confirmed by the estimation results which are presented in Table 2.
Table 2 Received estimation results (see online version for colours)
Estimation results t-statistics Significance level (p)
Intersection 2.7727 0.005795
(R) 4.2361 0.0000277
(P) 7.7636 5.86E-14
(Z) 6.5410 1.7E-10
Source: own Elaboration based on Stanisławsk (2017)
The analysis of significance tests [student’s t-test and significance levels (p)] indicates
that all three explanatory variables (factors) significantly affect innovative development,
which once again proves that they are factors determining the innovative development of
SMEs in Poland.
3.3 Evaluation of the impact of determinants on the innovative development
of SMEs
The assessment of the significance of these three determinants was made by the surveyed
entities. The research question asked was: which of these factors were the most important
for the innovative development of these enterprises and how large was this impact for
each of these factors individually? In order to make this subjective assessment, structure
indexes developed on the basis of the obtained test results were used Table 3.
Table 3 Structure indicators for the subjective assessment of the impact of determinants on the
innovative development of enterprises
Source e Small Medium Together
Ne % Ne % Ne % Ne %
Relations – open innovation 91 32.4 126 38.3 84 40.2 301 36.8
Planning –strategy 114 40.6 167 50.8 116 55.5 397 48.5
Resources 93 33.1 118 35.9 75 35.9 286 34.9
Total 281 329 209 819
Note: Ne – number of entities; % percentage.
Source: Own elaboration
Table 3 shows that the strategy has the most indications among the three determinants
(over 48% of respondents indicated the impact of this factor on the innovative
development of their enterprise). The second place in this ranking is occupied by ‘open
innovation’ (over 36% of surveyed enterprises) and the third place is given to ‘resources’
(almost 35% of surveyed entities). Here, one can confirm the existence of certain
regularity: along with the increase in the size of the enterprise, the share of entities
declaring a significant impact of individual factors on the innovative development of their
enterprises also increases. Therefore, larger enterprises appreciate more the role of these
three factors in the considered development. This may be due to their greater awareness
of importance of the said factors in this process. This is logical, as larger entities are more
Determinants of innovative development and their importance 77
determined by these three factors individually. The strategy is used in the context of long-
term planning in which these entities take into account the need for long-term innovative
development, i.e., a kind of development in which innovation plays the role of a tool and
is also the ultimate goal for the enterprise. Larger entities (as noted in many studies) are
also more open to the environment, i.e., they use assumptions about implementing the
‘open innovation’ paradigm. In addition, they have greater own resources and have easier
access to external resources. Thus, the results obtained in this study are consistent with
the actual state and confirm the existing trend.
Another task undertaken in this article is connected with the need to obtain the answer
to the second part of the research question related to the assessment of the separate
level of significance of these determinants. Considering only the indications of ‘very
large’ and ‘large’ impact on innovative development, the most important is ‘strategy’
(58% of indications), which coincides with both the results regarding the strength of the
impact (the largest related to the strategy) and the number of indications showing the
impact of this factor on innovative development. The second place in this respect is
occupied by the concept of ‘open innovation’ (cooperation with entities in the
environment), which was very often indicated by a total of 53.8% of surveyed entities.
The third factor in this ranking is the resource factor in total 56.7% of SMEs rated it
highly. In the case of the latter two determinants, the situation with respect to impact
strength is the opposite: it was greater in the case of ‘resources’ than ‘open innovation’.
This proves the fact that despite the greater importance of ‘open innovation’ in the
process of innovative development of these SMEs, its impact is smaller than in the case
of resources. A summary of the significance of these three factors in the subjective
assessment of the surveyed enterprises is presented in Table 4.
In division into groups, it is worth noting that the significance in the ‘large’ category
increases with the size of the studied entities (the exception is only ‘resources’). This
means that both ‘strategy’ and ‘open innovation’ are the most important for larger
entities: for SMEs more than for smaller entities: micro and small ones. The reasons for
this state of affairs should probably be sought in the great awareness as to the
significance of these factors in their innovative development among larger entities. In
other words, larger entities have experienced the significance of these factors in an
empirical manner they have become convinced in practice of their impact on this
development. On the other hand, smaller entities, mainly due to their internal conditions
(e.g., resistance to the environment, expressed by a reluctance to exchange experiences
and a tendency to plan their development in a short-time perspective, and a lack of a
strategic approach) underestimate these factors as key in this process. In the case of
resources, differences in the assessment of individual factors are so small that it can be
stated that their assessment for individual groups is similar (in the category ‘significant
importance’), although with somewhat greater importance in relation to larger entities.
On the other hand, when considering the ‘very important’ category, small enterprises
have the largest share in all three determinants. This means that this group strongly
indicates their large role most indications (17.7%) relate directly to resources. This is
probably due to the fact that, on the one hand, this factor is most often used by this group
of entities, and on the other hand, there is the largest ‘deficit’ of resources among these
enterprises (they are in the process of further development, hence the greater demand for
78 R. Stanisławski
Table 4 Collective summary of the subjective assessment of the significance of three factors
by company group
Significance Micro Small Medium Total
Ne % Ne % Ne % Ne %
Impact of ‘open innovation’ on innovative development
Very large 9 9.9 15 11.9 8 9.5 32 10.6
Large 32 35.5 54 42.9 44 52.4 130 43.2
Medium 35 38. 43 34.1 30 35.7 108 35.9
Small 13 14. 12 9.5 1 1.2 26 8.6
Very small 2 2.2 2 1.5 1 1.1 5 1.6
Number of enterprises that
91 126 84 301
Impact of strategy on innovative development
Very large 18 15.8 28 16.8 19 16.4 65 16.4
Large 37 32.5 66 39.5 62 53.4 165 41.6
Medium 49 43.0 64 38.3 32 27.6 145 36.5
Small 8 7.0 7 4.2 3 2,6 18 4.5
Very small 2 1.7 3 1.7 0 0.0 5 1.2
Number of enterprises that
114 167 116 397
Impact of resources on innovative development
Very large 15 16.1 21 17.8 4 5.3 40 14.0
Large 37 39.8 53 44.9 32 42.7 122 42.7
Medium 31 33.3 37 31.4 32 42.7 100 35.0
Small 8 8.6 6 5.1 7 9.3 21 7.3
Very small 2 2.2 1 0.8 0 0.0 3 1.0
Number of enterprises that
93 118 75 286
Note: Ne number of entities, % percentage and N = 819.
Source: own elaboration
3.4 Assessment of causes of influence of determinants on SMEs’ innovative
The last of the research questions is designed to determine the conditions (internal and/or
external) affecting the great importance of these determinants. Therefore, the research
question was formulated as follows: what are the (main) reasons for the significant
impact of these three determinants on innovative development in the subjective
assessment of the SMEs surveyed in Poland? Of course, the reasons will be different for
each of these factors.
In the case of ‘open innovation’, its weight was mainly due to the impact of the
‘turbulent environment’ on the enterprises. There is a simple principle if enterprises
want to develop innovatively, they have to adapt to changes in the environment. Over
Determinants of innovative development and their importance 79
75% of entities indicated the significant importance of this factor. It means the enterprises
indicate that changes in the environment are so great that they are not able to detect all
such changes, or if these entities are able to do so, they are unable to properly respond to
the changes. This proves the enormous dynamics of the environment and changes
occurring in it. The following table presents the rate of SMEs’ response to changes in the
environment (Table 5).
Table 5 Response rate of SMEs (broken down into groups) to changes in the environment
The rate of response to
Micro Small Medium Together
Ne % Ne % Ne % Ne %
The company reacted in
advance to changes in the
14 15.4 28 22.2 20 23.8 62 20.6
The company responded at a
pace comparable to changes in
the environment
52 57.1 81 64.3 53 63.1 186 61.8
The company reacted late to
changes in the environment
20 22.0 17 13.5 10 11.9 47 15.6
The company did not respond
to changes taking place in the
5 5.5 0 0.0 1 1.2 6 2.0
Number of enterprises that
91 126 84 301
Note: Ne number of entities, % percentage and N = 819.
Source: own elaboration
The above-presented data show that 98% of surveyed SMEs responded in different ways
to environmental changes. This means that the environment (and thus the ‘open
innovation’ factor) is important for them from the point of view of innovative
development. A very important reaction for these entities is ‘ahead of time’ and at a
‘comparable’ pace (this applies to small and medium-sized entities), which proves the
enormous importance of this factor for their development. A regularity can be observed
here, i.e., the larger the entity, the greater (quicker) the response to changes in the
environment (which confirms the significance of this determinant). It is reasonable to
formulate a thesis which states that the importance of ‘open innovation’ is greater for
larger entities, which also results in greater openness to the environment and changes
occurring in it. Therefore, one can answer the research question as follows: the identified
reason (one of many) of the relatively high level of significance of ‘open innovation’ as a
factor influencing the innovative development of SMEs in Poland is undoubtedly the
need for rapid adaptation to changes in the environment and response to these changes.
In turn, in relation to the ‘strategy’ (the second of the discussed factors) the most
important factor affecting innovative development, it can be stated that its enormous
weight is the result of a desire to improve (maintain or further strengthen) this
development in the long term. This goal is declared by about 97% of enterprises
indicating the ‘strategy’ factor as an important determinant of their innovative
development. This proves a positive attitude of these entities, firstly, to the role of
innovative development (and their awareness in this field), and secondly to strategic
planning and taking into account the importance of innovation in this process as a key
80 R. Stanisławski
element improving, e.g., market position. The table below presents the main intentions
related to the ‘strategy’, which indicates their importance in the subjective assessment of
the surveyed enterprises (Table 6).
Table 6 SMEs’ intentions in the field of ‘strategy’ as a factor influencing innovative
The willingness of the
company to
Micro Small Medium Together
Ne % Ne % Ne % Ne %
Improving a weak level of
innovative development
18 15.8 18 10.8 9 7.8 45 11.3
Maintaining an average level
of innovative development
48 42.1 60 35.9 30 25.9 138 34.8
Maintaining a high level of
innovative development
22 19.3 44 26.3 34 29.3 100 25.2
Further strengthening the
already high level of
innovative development
21 18.4 37 22.2 34 29.3 92 23.2
No need to prioritise
5 4.4 8 4.8 9 7.8 22 5.5
Number of enterprises that
114 167 116 397
Note: Ne number of entities, % percentage and N = 819.
Source: own elaboration
Table 6 indicates the importance of the ‘strategy’ factor for SMEs in Poland in division
by groups. Larger (small and medium) enterprises are inclined to continually improve
their level of innovative development. This willingness is determined by external factors
that prove the role of innovation in their development. This allows us to formulate
another thesis which states that: larger enterprises are more focused on the ‘strategy’
factor than smaller ones (thus it is of great importance to them), which is expressed in
appropriate development plans and taking into account innovation as a key element.
Smaller (micro) enterprises focus much less on maintaining their high level of innovative
development (there are few such entities in practice they want more to maintain or
improve their low or medium level of this development). Therefore, the ‘strategy’ factor
is much more appreciated by entities from the group of small and medium-sized entities.
They are the most developed innovatively and that is why they see the need for further
development hence, this need is determined by the size of the enterprise. Answering the
posed research question, it should be stated that the reason why SMEs in Poland treat the
‘strategy’ as the main factor influencing their innovative development is the desire to
expand further and it concerns larger entities among SMEs, i.e., SMEs.
In relation to the last of the factors, i.e., ‘resources’, it should be noted that their
relatively great importance (smaller compared to the above two) results (concerns the
subjective assessment of enterprises) from their too small size (applies to both: own
material and intangible resources) in relation to existing needs, on the one hand, and
limited access to external resources, on the other hand. In the case of material resources,
the largest mismatch (greatest needs) concerns ‘finances’ (over 52% of surveyed
enterprises), while the largest intangible resources category relates to intellectual
resources (e.g., knowledge) (approx. 40% of respondents) (Table 7).
Determinants of innovative development and their importance 81
Table 7 The degree of lack of matching of own resources in relation to the needs*
Type of resources Micro Small Medium Together
Ne % Ne % Ne % Ne %
Material resources
Things 5 12.5 8 16.3 9 27.3 22 18.1
Finance 23 57.5 28 57.1 13 39.4 64 52.4
People 12 30.0 13
26.6 11 33.3 36 29.5
Number of enterprises that
40 49 33 122
Intangible resources
Things 3 23.0 6 27.3 9 50.0 18 34.0
Finance 6 46.2 6 27.3 2 11.1 14 26.4
People 4 30.8 10
45.4 7 38.9 21 39.6
Number of enterprises that
13 22 18 53
Notes: Ne number of entities, % percentage and N = 819. *Despite too small
numbers, the shares were calculated due to the need for comparisons.
Source: Own elaboration
In the case of the analysis presented in the table above, it can be stated that generally
these deficiencies depend on the size of enterprises and the type of considered resources.
It is clearly seen that larger (medium) entities are better equipped with material resources
(a lack of matching relates to an average of 27 - 33%) than intangible ones deficiencies
in this respect reach an average level of 39 - 50%. The conclusion that can be derived
from the above-presented analysis is as follows: the relatively low level of matching of
own resources has a ‘positive’ impact on the relatively high rating of this factor as one of
determinants of innovative development. In other words, enterprises conducting
innovative activity are aware that without the proper level of their own resources they
will not be able to achieve their goals regarding the discussed development. Hence, the
high importance of these resources in the subjective assessment of these entities. It can be
assumed that higher assessment of the significance of these resources is seen in the case
of those entities that lack such resources than in the case of those enterprises that have
them ‘in abundance’.
In the case of external resources, the assessment of their availability in the
environment is quite low. Only 30–40% of surveyed enterprises (indicating the
importance of the resource factor) confirmed the level of this availability as very good or
good. This means that more than half of the entities are of the opinion that obtaining
resources from the environment creates serious problems. Hence, the huge importance of
this factor in innovative development. The research shows that the least available are
financial resources (approx. 45% of respondents) and the most available are human
resources (approx. 57% of respondents). Thus, greater availability of resources may
reduce the importance of this factor as one of determinants of innovative development of
enterprises. For now, the rarity of both internal and external resources affects the fact of
emphasising their important role in the process of intensifying activities aimed at
innovative development. This is the answer to the research question posed above.
82 R. Stanisławski
3.5 Discussion
The purpose of this discussion is to confirm the results of the research presented above in
relation to the world literature. In most cases, this literature confirms the existence of
certain regularities in the area of determinants affecting the innovative development of
SMEs. However, the research presented in this article indicates the existence of certain
relationships broken down into specific groups of surveyed enterprises, which has not yet
been prominently highlighted in the world literature. The attention of foreign researchers
is mainly focused on SMEs as a whole. In addition, a definite novelty of the presented
research involves taking into account these three determinants, presenting their full
characteristics and the role they play in the innovative development of the surveyed
enterprises. In the Western literature, they are treated as one of many hence their
analysis is cursory and made against the background of other factors affecting the
discussed SME development. Focusing only on these types of determinants in the article
resulted from the need to take into account the specificity of Polish enterprises (e.g., a
short period of activity of SMEs in Poland). This specificity required taking into
consideration internal (strategy) as well as external (open innovation willingness to
cooperate) factors and both internal and external factors (resources), and thus a more
holistic view of the discussed issue. In addition, it gave this analysis a more universal and
multi-threaded character.
Comparing the research presented in this article with other studies, one can point to
some similarities and differences. As the literature on the subject shows, a tendency to
create by entities their own development strategies is important among internal
determinants. In this respect, the size of the entities analysed is important. It turns out that
smaller entities are more inclined to develop their own development strategies (taking
into account the improvement of their competitiveness) than large entities (Bamberger
et al., 1990). Other authors say quite the opposite: SMEs are more focused on improving
existing technologies, they usually work ad hoc and informally in the short term hence
their production cycle is definitely short (Nooteboom, 1994). In addition, they are
characterised by a rapid change in technology, rapid adjustment to the client’s portfolio
and improvement of competitive position (Huang et al., 2002). Therefore, they are more
flexible and effective in the process of innovative implementations (Allocca and Kessler,
2006). In the opinion of many authors, developing long-term strategic plans in their case
does not make much sense. However, as the research presented above indicates, Polish
SMEs see the need for strategic planning. Moreover, they define it as an important
determinant of development. There is a definite difference between Western and Polish
research in this area.
Another factor which is openness to the environment (open innovation), was also
identified in the literature as important. Research published by various authors indicates
that its role increases in relation to those innovative SMEs that conduct R&D activity.
They work with both clients and research institutions. The tendency to cooperate with
external partners is closely correlated with the development of enterprise innovation
(Avermaete et al., 2010). In turn, other authors emphasise the importance of internal and
external sources of knowledge acquisition. They claim that the diversity of these sources
increases the chances of innovation, motivating organisations to search for new
knowledge and acquire it from the market and professional external resources
(Mol and Birkinshaw, 2009). In addition, they point to a number of reasons for taking
advantage of the environment to improve their level of innovation. Among these reasons,
Determinants of innovative development and their importance 83
they emphasise the impact of cooperation on eliminating conflicts within enterprises,
reducing the level of uncertainty in the process of new innovative implementations, or
facilitating the initiation and implementation of new innovative solutions (Damanpour
and Schneider, 2006). The results of the research contained in this article also indicate a
number of conditions, the most important of which is the need to adapt to the
environment and respond to changes in it. The conducted research takes into account the
specificity of native SMEs, consisting in the existing differences between enterprises in
Poland and other countries, including Western Europe or the world. Therefore, some of
the conditions have been adapted to Polish realities. Nevertheless, the importance of the
‘open innovation’ factor, and cooperation implemented within, is referred to as
significant in the literature.
The third factor, i.e., resources, has also been characterised in the literature as one of
the factors positively influencing innovative development. Resources allow the enterprise
to acquire innovations from the environment, to bear the costs of implementing
innovations, and to extrapolate new ideas and adapt them to the needs of entities
implementing them, on the one hand, and clients, on the other hand. As is rightly pointed
out in most studies, resources determine the success or failure of an enterprise in
improving its innovativeness. In their absence, the likelihood of innovative development
is low, hence the need to create a special (internal) fund for such development
(Wan et al., 2005). Internal resources are necessary for the development of unique
products and technologies leading to a competitive advantage. The external ones come
from cooperation within the network with suppliers, customers and various organisations.
The added value of operating in such networks is easier access to specialised knowledge
and low transaction costs in the event of its transfer (Laforet, 2011). In the literature, one
more regularity was noted, also indicated in this article based on our own research: too
low a level of matching own resources to existing needs can ‘positively’ affect the
demand for external resources. It can be noted that enterprises with a high level of
internal resources are reluctant to explore the environment, and thus to take advantage of
development opportunities resulting from cooperation with other entities (Freel and
Harrison, 2007). However, our own conclusions based on the research go a step further:
our findings indicate that higher assessment of the significance of these resources is seen
in the case of those entities that lack such resources than in the case of those enterprises
that have them ‘in abundance’.
The presented considerations regarding the three determinants analysed in the article
confirm to a greater or lesser extent their importance in the process of innovative
development of the surveyed Polish SMEs. Studies described in the world literature
recognise the difference in the role that is assigned to these determinants in improving the
level of innovation. It often depends on the scope and nature of these studies presented by
various authors.
4 Conclusions
The considerations contained in this study allow us to draw several important conclusions
regarding innovative development and determinants directly or indirectly affecting this
development. Firstly, innovative development is a relatively new category in
management sciences, where it is often replaced by the concept of innovativeness. There
84 R. Stanisławski
is a fairly large difference in meaning between these concepts, although the use of them
interchangeably is not treated as error.
Secondly, innovative development can be seen in terms of organisational or process
development. The former is carried out by the organisation as part of its subsystems
through specific innovative activities referred to as interventions. They can have a diverse
character due to the purpose and scope of their making. Nevertheless, they are important
from the point of view of conceptualising the concept of ‘innovative development’. In the
organisational concept, the adopted definition is that innovative development is the
development of an organisation carried out by innovative interventions (through
innovations), in which innovation plays the role of a tool and is also the goal resulting
from the conducted innovative activity aimed at introducing its outcome, i.e., a ready-
made innovative solution, into the market. On the other hand, in process terms, this
development is defined as a process (having its beginning and end) consisting in the
implementation of innovative solutions as a result of which the level of a given
organisation’s innovativeness changes from a lower to a higher state (developmental
character). It is worth emphasising that it focuses on stages, ranging from the idea to the
implementation and commercialisation of the finished solution.
Thirdly, three basic factors were selected, referred to in the literature as determinants,
and their impact on innovative development was confirmed by statistical methods. Their
selection was deliberate and resulted from the division of these factors adopted in this
study into internal and external ones. As a result of the estimation, it turned out that
‘strategy’ has the greatest impact, ‘resources’ come second and ‘open innovation’ comes
Fourthly, as a result of the assessment of the significance of the impact of these
individual factors on innovative development (through the analysis of structure
indicators), it turned out that the most important is ‘strategy’, then ‘open innovation’, and
finally ‘resources’. In addition, this importance is somewhat dependent on the size of
enterprises with the increase in the size of the enterprise, the share of entities declaring
a significant impact of specific factors on their innovative development also increases. In
relation to these factors, it can be concluded that both ‘strategy’ and ‘open innovation’
are the most important for larger entities: for small and medium enterprises more than for
smaller entities: micro and small ones. This allows us to formulate the thesis about
varying degrees of impact that these determinants have on the entities in question due to
the group (size).
Fifthly, an attempt was made to answer the question about the reasons for the impact
of these three factors on innovative development. In the case of ‘open innovation’, the
role of the environment and changes that occur in it was indicated. It turned out that the
reason for the high level of significance of ‘open innovation’ as a factor influencing the
innovative development of SMEs in Poland is undoubtedly the need to quickly adapt to
changes in the environment and respond to these changes. In addition, this level also
depends on the size of the studied entities: larger ones have a quick response to changes
(and thus the significance of this determinant is higher). Then in the case of ‘strategy’ it
turns out that the huge significance is the result of the desire to improve (maintain or
further strengthen) this development in the long term. In addition, it has been shown that
larger enterprises are more focused on the ‘strategy’ factor than smaller ones, which is
expressed in the development of appropriate development plans and incorporating
innovation as their key element. The weight of the last of the factors (resources) results
from the insufficient amount of own resources in relation to the existing needs, on the one
Determinants of innovative development and their importance 85
hand, and from the limited access to external resources, on the other hand. The lack of
these resources determines their ‘value’ as a factor influencing development. The level of
this impact depends on the type of resources and the size of enterprises. Larger entities
are characterised by better ‘endowment’ in their own tangible resources than intangible
ones. With regard to external resources, the majority of the surveyed entities confirmed
their poor availability (at a level of about 40%); access to human resources was the most
positively assessed, while the availability of financial resources was seen as the worst. To
sum up, the strength of the impact and the significance of these factors in the process of
shaping innovative development is considerable. Therefore, SMEs must take them into
account if the goal of their activities is innovative development in the long run.
Obtained results of our own research allow us to present some recommendations
aimed at improving the current state of affairs. Firstly, it is necessary to change the
mentality of some entrepreneurs in the area of evaluation of cooperation (open
innovation) with other entities in the environment. This means overcoming psychological
barriers that result from concerns about one’s own intangible resources (knowledge).
Entrepreneurs are afraid of establishing relationships because they think it will threaten
their economic interest. Secondly, only the market and clients’ ‘innovative’ attitude can
force them to think strategically (develop strategies for innovative development). Despite
the fact that SMEs are flexible in terms of adaptation to clients’ needs, they must
recognise the need for the implementation of innovations in the future perspective. This is
a time-consuming process spread over many years into the future. Thirdly, SMEs in
Poland (taking into account material resources) should strive to create their own financial
reserves for innovative development. On the other hand, when it comes to external
material resources, an active state policy, which should allow greater access to such funds
on preferential terms, plays a large role in this process. In the case of intangible resources
(knowledge), the remedy for the existing situation is a greater willingness of enterprises
to cooperate and openness to the environment, which allows the exchange of knowledge.
In addition, the intensification of R&D activity among these enterprises may also be such
a panacea.
The conclusions presented above do not exhaust the topics related to innovative
development and determinants of this development. Further research seems to be
necessary regarding the identification and assessment of further factors affecting this
development. In addition, it is worth focusing studies on market factors and their role in
the innovative development of SMEs in Poland. In this regard, knowledge expansion
should follow several basic directions. Firstly, the question to what extent the market
determines innovative development should be answered. Secondly, the question whether
entrepreneurs in Poland are aware (and to what extent) of the importance of innovation
for their long-term development and whether the level of this awareness translates into a
greater propensity to make innovative changes in these business entities. And finally, an
answer to the question whether SMEs’ absorption capacities are sufficient to make new
implementations and explore the environment in search of new solutions should be
sought. The number of issues and problems related to research into the impact of
determinants on innovative development is long, which requires conducting further
research in this area. Such studies will undoubtedly help to find answers to issues that
interest scientists in the field of innovation and innovativeness of enterprises. Therefore,
it should be emphasised that ‘innovation’ as the basic determinant of SMEs’ development
has an indisputable character. The lack of innovative development will contribute to the
weakening of the competitive position in foreign markets, which will have primarily
86 R. Stanisławski
economic effects. In the long term, the winners will be those which will be able to offer
customers not only cheap but above all new solutions tailored to their needs. In the era of
‘prosperity’, price will become a secondary factor an idea and an innovative solution
will matter.
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... A slightly smaller decrease was recorded in product and process innovations (by 40%) (from the SII level of 35.7 to 28.1). All these data on both the development of marketing (organizational) and product (process) innovations are below the EU average, which in their case is 35.7 and 34.3, respectively [11] (pp. 62-95); [12]. The reasons for such poor innovative development should be seen in economic and social factors, which can undoubtedly include limited resources (tangible and intangible) [13] (pp. ...
... In the literature, they are very differently defined as factors [43] (pp. [1][2][3][4][5][6][7][8][9][10][11][12][13][14][15][16][17][18][19][20], conditions, motivators [44] (pp. 243-256), or simply determinants [45] (pp. ...
... Among the former, the most frequently mentioned are government programs for innovative development, various forms of support, regional innovative programs, mechanisms for intellectual property protection, and many others [46] (pp. [1][2][3][4][5][6][7][8][9][10][11][12][13][14][15][16][17][18][19][20]. In turn, the latter includes a lack of own internal resources-both tangible and intangible [44] (pp. ...
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The concept of open innovation is currently one of the key issues regarding the innovative development of micro, small, and medium enterprises (SMEs). It has been the subject of research both in the theoretical and empirical context. At present, there is no unambiguous definition conceptualizing the conceptual scope of open innovation (OI). However, enterprises do not always decide by themselves to be open to the environment. Therefore, determinants are important, as they encourage enterprises to greater openness, which can be treated as a key element of a value chain for SMEs, contributing to their innovative development. Classification of these determinants (also named as factors) is very poor in the literature. Generally, internal and external determinants are identified. Authors decide on the selection of these factors and their division by themselves. The research presented in this article has indicated the existence of several significant regularities. Firstly, larger entities are more likely to use the OI concept. Secondly, market determinants are the most important for the use of OI among SMEs. Thirdly, both internal and external determinants have a huge impact on the application of the OI concept, with external determinants being more significant for smaller rather than larger entities. The conclusions drawn were a consequence of the assumed aim of the article: The assessment of the influence of determinants that affect the use of the OI concept among SMEs in Poland.
... Disengagement contributes to a lack of learning and development which indicates a failure to utilize the talents in a workplace [13,14]. Poor creativity and low innovation, and subsequently underperformance are the consequences of this disengagement [3,15]. It is important to point out that, in this study, the term learner is used to describe a worker in a workplace as well as a student at school. ...
BACKGROUND: Overcoming the disengagement feeling in a human- centric environment such as a workplace or a school is essential. In fact, the disengagement in a workplace or at school is one of the major challenges today. Lack of meaningful engagement contributes to this feeling. OBJECTIVE: It is to assess the impacts of external feedback on learning and development. External feedback reflects engagement with the disengaged learners. METHODS: Two schools where the students are generally viewed as disengaged have been involved since 2016. Foreign business communities have worked closely with teachers, and disengaged learners as an external feedback provider. The feedback design is based on the Double-loop Learning. The survey is used to assess the impacts of external feedback. RESULTS: External feedback significantly contributes to more positive feeling on safety, belonginess, and happiness which is essential for learning and development. Based on the findings, external feedback helps overcome the feeling of disengagement in a human-centric environment. CONCLUSIONS: The proper use of external feedback in a human-centric environment shows tangible benefits, especially when dealing with the disengaged learners. External feedback can help re-engage the disengaged learners which can lead to better learning and development.
... As noted in this article, innovation around Industry 4.0 allows businesses to customize their offer and fill even already existing market niches and reduce product prices, which creates a great opportunity to gain market advantage. Today, taking advantage of new ideas and innovation is becoming ever more economically important [74,75]. ...
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Within the broadly understood concept of Industry 4.0, many intelligent systems featuring artificial intelligence are used. Their importance in recent years has been growing. That can be attributed to a number of notable advantages these systems provide, including the possibility of expanding the manufacturer's offer, greater customization of products, which facilitates reaching niche markets, as well as better internal and/or external communication (between the company and the consumer). Six such systems are brought into focus: The Internet of Things, Data Base, Cloud Computing, Blockchain, SCADA (Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition), and SMAC (Social, Mobile, Analytics, Cloud). The aim of the study was to assess their relevance and impact on the market position of enterprises in Poland. The analysis is based on the research carried out by the authors in 2020 on a sample of production companies that use logistic supply chains in their operations. The conclusions are to some extent surprising, e.g., the companies do not believe that implementing intelligence systems gives them significant market advantage nor that the positive impact of these systems depends directly on the number of systems used.
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This article presents an analysis of the determinants of a firm's innovativeness deriving from its internal potential and characteristics. The analysis is based on research carried out on 1355 firms that applied for public subsidies from the Innovative Economy Operational Program in 2014. The methods applied are logit regression, comparative analysis and literature review. The analysis is structured according to Bielski's model of an organization indicating the following subsystems: management, goals and values, people, technology and structure. This analysis shows that firms' innovativeness depends mainly on the following factors: their level of cooperation with academia, longer presence on the market , being highly equipped with modern technologies, being a medium-sized or large firm, as well as being an industrial rather than a service firm. All of the organizational subsystems play a role in determining innovativeness, but the most important ones are the technical subsystem, psycho-social subsystem and the subsystem of structure.
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The primary aim of the paper is an analysis of the relationships between growth, innovation and subsidies based on a large firm-level data set in the period 2004-2007. The novelty of the approach lies in linking data from financial statements with data from innovation surveys of the Czech Statistical. Innovation activities of firms are modelled as a four stage model (CDM) which allows studying several interrelated questions while controlling for simultaneity and for causality problem. In the first two stages determinants of decision to innovate and consequent innovation investment are separated. In the third stage innovation input (R&D investment) is linked to innovation output, and finally, in the fourth stage it is determined how the productivity of firm is related to its innovation activities. Our analysis proved that innovation input significantly increases innovation output, with increasing firm´s size, however, ceteris paribus, the innovation output is decreasing. This means that bigger firms are less efficient in transforming the innovation input into output. More importantly, our analysis shows that access to subsidies has significant, yet negative influence on innovation output. This result may throw a shadow on the efficiency of supported firms and have some implications for competition policy.
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SMEs are the essential elements of the economy which is responsible for driving innovation and competition in many economic sectors. To be a competitor in such economies those SMEs should support strategic management decisions successfully. The problem could be in decision phase according to market conditions with many external and internal factors. To cope with ambiguity executives have to consider appropriate strategies. Due to this difficult and time consuming evaluation process, this paper is focusing on determining to find some case-based strategic innovation success factors. A decision making approach is adopted to effectively evaluate those strategic innovation factors.
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In this paper we examine the effects of two sources of external knowledge, alliances and outsourcing activities, on the innovation speed of small and medium enterprises (SMEs). We integrate relevant literature, consider key conceptual issues and tradeoffs, and develop falsifiable hypotheses related to these relationships. A multi-industry study of 158 new product development projects in 73 SMEs is presented that empirically tests the effects of alliances and outsourcing on SMEs’ innovation speed, for both radical and incremental technological advances. The clearest finding is that external sourcing does not appear to speed up innovation in SMEs and may indeed act as a barrier to fast-paced development.
This study proposes a model of the impact of transformational leadership both on followers' creativity at the individual level and on innovation at the organizational level. The model is tested on 163 R&D personnel and managers at 43 micro- and small-sized Turkish software development companies. The results suggest that transformational leadership has important effects on creativity at both the individual and organizational levels. At the individual level, the results of hierarchical linear modeling show that there is a positive relationship between transformational leadership and employees' creativity. In addition, transformational leadership influences employees' creativity through psychological empowerment. At the organizational level, the results of regression analysis reveal that transformational leadership positively associates with organizational innovation, which is measured with a market-oriented criterion developed specifically for developing countries and newly developing industries. The implications of the findings along with some potential practical applications are discussed.