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Inter-organizational collaboration and SMEs’ innovation: A systematic review and future research directions

Zahoor, Nadia, Al-Tabbaa, O. (2020) Inter-organizational collaboration and SMEs’ innovation: A systematic review and future research directions. Scandinavian Journal of Management, 36 (2). ISSN 0956-5221. (doi:10.1016/j.scaman.2020.101109) (KAR id:81484)


Inter-organizational collaboration (IOC) has gained increased attention in research and practice given its documented influence on the innovation of small and medium-sized enterprises’ (SMEs). Regardless of the growing number of studies, there is still lack of research that scrutinizes and synthesizes this body of knowledge. This paper undertakes a systematic review of 113 studies from 2000 to 2019 to analyse research trends and findings on the nature and dynamics of IOC-innovation relationship in SMEs domain. Based on this analysis, we develop a framework grounded in selected theoretical lenses and empirical findings to advance our understanding of key antecedents, mediators, moderators and outcomes. We highlight that extant theories are deployed and illustrated but rarely extended in a manner that significantly informs subsequent work. Furthermore, we identify that innovation is a complex process that involves different mechanisms. On that basis, we have identified several research gaps and provided a future research agenda that we mapped into four dimensions: theory, phenomenon, methodology and context.

Item Type: Article
DOI/Identification number: 10.1016/j.scaman.2020.101109
Uncontrolled keywords: Inter-organizational collaboration; Innovation; Collaborative innovation; SMEs; Systematic review
Subjects: H Social Sciences
Divisions: Divisions > Kent Business School - Division > Department of Marketing, Entrepreneurship and International Business
Depositing User: Omar Altabbaa
Date Deposited: 01 Jun 2020 16:20 UTC
Last Modified: 15 Jun 2022 23:00 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)

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