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Exploring the Relationship between Training/Consultancy and Small and Medium Enterprises (SME) Innovation

Innovation is the implementation of a new or significantly improved product (good or service) or method related to either an organisation's production or management/administration activities. Research has shown that knowledge intensive business services like consultancies are able to help Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) innovate and in the process, they become more innovative themselves.

The cities of Joondalup and Wanneroo are currently looking at ways to promote innovation such that the North West metro region can become a knowledge region. As knowledge intensive business services typically have more graduates as staff, the growth of such services in the region could also be a source of employment for graduates, contributing to the growth of the knowledge region.

The research aims to determine if the kind of training and consultancy currently offered to SME in the region results in co-production of innovation. The research is also anticipated to result in determining the kind of training and consultancy that SMEs in the region require to help them innovate so that the region can be one where innovation and knowledge-intensive business services can thrive.

Researchers

Dr Denise Gengatharen, Chief Investigator
Dr Alan Coetzer
Dr Janice Redmond
Dr Yuliani Suseno
Professor Craig Standing

Timeline

September 2014 to December 2016

Research Questions

Within the North West metro region of WA:

  • Do existing training and consultancy schemes foster innovation within SMEs?
  • Does the process of delivering training and consultancy services to SMEs also foster innovation within the service providers?
  • What factors facilitate and inhibit the co-production of innovation among SMEs and the service providers?
  • How can training and consultancy services contribute to the development of a ‘knowledge region’ through fostering innovation within SMEs that provide knowledge-intensive business services

Funding

Currently unfunded

Research Method

The research will use a qualitative approach via interviews with SMEs, Trainers, Consultants and other regional stakeholders interested in promoting innovation in the region to elicit their views on how consultancy and training could help SMEs innovate.

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