Do stakeholder capabilities promote sustainable business innovation in small and medium-sized enterprises? Evidence from Italy
آیا قابلیت های سهامداران نوآوری پایدار در مشاغل کوچک و متوسط را ارتقا می دهد؟ مدارکی از ایتالیا-2020
Sustainable innovation and its management have become fundamental forces for change in business and society. Paradoxically, little attention has been given to how small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) manage sustainable innovation in the current knowledge-intensive context. By studying 80 SMEs from the high-tech manufacturing sector in Italy, this research has found that, when combined with stakeholder engagement, sustainable innovation management becomes a pivotal phenomenon for new and established SMEs. Stakeholders proved instrumental in generating the sense of environmental responsibility in SMEs. As a pioneer combination of stakeholder theory and innovation management theory, our research found that stakeholder-related cap- abilities, both tangible and intangible, inﬂuence the ﬁrms orientation towards sustainable innovation, its environmental responsibility and related capabilities. Our research assists the sustainability, adaptation, innovation and growth orientation of SMEs in a knowledge-intensive environment by recommending that, in their relationship with stakeholders, SMEs become more open to co-create, share and reuse environmental knowledge.
Keywords: Stakeholder-related capabilities | Stakeholder theory | Sustainable innovation orientation | SMEs | Environmental responsibility | Environmental capabilities