THE SWEDISH PARADOX REVISITED – WHY CANNOT SWEDISH SMES INNOVATE? - A literature review on Swedish SMEs’ inability to innovate

University essay from Göteborgs universitet/Företagsekonomiska institutionen

Abstract: Aim and PurposeThe aim of this study is to examine Swedish SMEs’ inability to innovate against a frameworkof four barriers to innovation as presented by Mark S. Freel; Financing, Management andMarketing, Skilled Labour, and External Information and Linkages. Furthermore, the thesiswill determine whether or not the four factors combined are useful in explaining the lowinnovation intensity of Swedish SMEs.MethodThe study seeks to answer the questions at issue by means of a literature study. It comprisesresearch conducted on Swedish SMEs which is then evaluated towards the four-factorframework, using international research. This thesis relies exclusively on previouslyconducted research and no new data is presented.Results and ConclusionThe research has found that Financing, and External Information and Linkages are to beconsidered major barriers to innovation for Swedish SMEs. Management and Marketing, andSkilled Labour are to be considered less prominent barriers however. This leads to theconclusion that the framework of the four factors presented by Freel is not very useful indescribing the low innovation intensity of Swedish SMEs.

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