An Identification of Unsuccessful, Failure Factors of Technology Innovation and Development in SMEs: A Case Study of Components and Material Industry

Sung-Wook Kang


Despite the widespread recognition of the important roles that innovative, technology-oriented small and medium
sized enterprises (SMEs) play in most economies, relatively little research has been focused on the integrated
aspects of technology, management and the related factors in the context of SMEs. Since there are no well-defined
or established research models or frameworks, we adopted an exploratory, longitudinal approach to investigate
key factors that affect success or failure business cases in Korean components and materials industry. With
forty-five case study analysis, we found three important factors for technology-oriented SMEs business successes
or failures. These include technology factors (market-oriented technology; timely innovative technology;
technology innovation capability; patents), management factors (financial resource; management commitments;
human resource; R&D capability; commercialization capability), and the related factors (top managers' ethical
issues; transparency in R&D budgets; lack of commitments for success). We highlight the importance of the
integrative approach which combines technology, management, and the related factors to examine successful or
failing business cases. Further studies will benefit from our findings to develop theoretical models and examine
other industries.

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