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Barriers of non-technological innovation - explorative case study insight from European firms

: Som, Oliver; Diekmann, Janis


International journal of business and systems research 11 (2017), Nr.3, S.265-283
ISSN: 1751-200X
ISSN: 1751-2018
Fraunhofer ISI ()
organisational innovation; marketing innovation; non-technological innovation; organisational theory; barrier; case study; qualitative research; market failure; systemic failure

Today, it is widely agreed that non-technical innovation significantly contributes to firms' competitive advantage. Against this backdrop, public innovation support programs are increasingly extended towards non-technological fields of innovation, like the new European framework program, Horizon 2020. Along these lines, however, the question arises whether non-technical innovations, comparably to technical innovations, are subject to firm-external barriers resulting in a suboptimal degree of innovation activities. Existing concepts like market failure and systemic failure have so far only been applied to R&D-based or technical modes of innovation like product or technical process innovation. Based on a qualitative analysis of innovation projects targeting organisational and marketing innovation in 11 European firms of different sectors, industry, and size, this paper provides pioneer insight that non-technological innovations are affected by external barriers to a comparable extent than technological innovations. The aim of the paper is to nurture further academic discussion and quantitative research on this topic as well as to improve policy makers' and innovation practioneers' understanding the specific nature of non-technological innovation processes and their firm-external barriers. Last but not least, the findings can contribute to improve and adjust existing policy instruments targeting at non-technological innovation.