28th European Regional Conference of the International Telecommunications Society (ITS): "Competition and Regulation in the Information Age", Passau, Germany, July 30 - August 2, 2017
This paper seeks to construct a new theory on SME innovation by reviewing and comprehending findings and knowledge obtained to date from a unified perspective. Conventional research on innovation in general has focused thematically on individual factors such as absorptive capability, R&D, and open innovation. While this approach has its advantages, it is critical to research innovation as a single process from a broad perspective and framework. This analyzes how SMEs acquire new information and ideas that are the source of innovation, organize and conduct R&D to integrate these ideas with management resources within the frim, and finally, how they produce the concrete output of these steps that lead to the development of new products. Our research especially seeks to answer what elements are needed in this process, and how they should be combined. In addition, this paper focuses on internal innovation capability which includes factors such as technologies that the company own, human resources (human factor), managerial organizational form (organization), leadership, and so on. These factors also consist of detailed sub-factors. The examples of the third layer contain as the following factors, for example. The technological factor includes the following factors: (a) ratio of R&D expenditure to sales; (b) the number of intellectual property right owned; and (c) technical and management systems such as R&D. (ii) Managerial organization indicates whether the managerial organization is designed and functioning to encourage exchange and share information among employees or communications inside the firm for innovation. This consists of the following sub-factors: (d) practicing QC circle; (e) cross-functional team; (f) information sharing system using ICT; and (g) the traditional background to stimulate discussions and communications among sections of the firms. Finally, the human resources is an important factor for engaging in innovation activities as well as for design and managing R&D, which consist of the following sub-factors: (h) ability of top management such as degrees or experiences; (i) leadership of top management; (j) degrees and experiences of employees; and (k) the Human Resource Development scheme (HRD) such as OJT (On-the-job training) or OFFJT (Off-the-job training). This paper particularly focuses on factors such as technology, R&D, and ICT use.