The Effect of External Knowledge Sources on Organizational Innovation in Small and Medium Enterprises in Germany


  • Shoaib Abdul Basit Faculty of Economics and Business Administration, Chemnitz University of Technology


organizational innovation, workplace, external knowledge sources, small and medium-sized firms


Background: Firms increasingly depend on external actors for the process of generating innovation. Interaction with these actors might occur through an official collaboration agreement or via external actors as the source of information. Objectives: Although open innovation has received more attention, still less is known about its effect on organizational innovation. To fill this gap, this study investigates the impact of various external knowledge sources on the willingness of small and medium-sized enterprises to introduce organizational innovation. Methods/Approach: To achieve the proposed objective, the German Community Innovation Survey conducted in 2017 is used for the econometric analysis. Results: Different external sources of knowledge are relevant for the introduction of organizational innovation in small firms (customers in the private sector, competitors, conferences, and crowdsourcing) compared to medium-sized firms (customers in the private sector and industry associations). Conclusions: External knowledge sources are more important for small firms compared to medium firms, and those small firms are more likely to use various sets of external knowledge.






Economic and Business Systems Research Articles