Towards a theory of small-firm low-tech food innovation

Vijay Vyas, Renuka Vyas

Research output: Working paper

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Abstract

Innovation in low-tech sectors such as food & drinks continues to be under-researched and under-theorised despite growing evidence on low and medium technology sectors’ substantial contribution to economic growth in the developed countries. This attempt to build theory from case study research, contributes to an embryonic literature in this area through a set of propositions grounded in process theory and organisational innovativeness literature. We postulate that small firm food innovation is shaped exogenously by the cultural context of food consumption and internally by high-variety-low-volume manufacturing environment of the innovative firm. The ensuing incremental innovation is underpinned by a counterintuitive avoidance of development of health foods. These innovative efforts are abetted by the large retailers who, in turn, use these agile enterprises’ creativity and plasticity to achieve their own competitive goals. The propositions outlined here complement the extant theory through a sharper contextual focus in contrast to the previous research.
Original languageEnglish
PublisherSocial Science Research Network
Publication statusPublished - 14 Aug 2014

Keywords

  • SMEs
  • low-tech
  • innovation
  • food & drinks
  • Scotland

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