rather they are usually financially constrained and

ratherthan at the NPD project level, remaining silent on the multiple contingenciesinherent in any NPD project that may potentially influence the implementationof an open strategy.

Only recently some studies have investigated the driversinfluencing open innovation decisions at different levels of the projectorganizational structure: Lichtenthaler (2011) has tried to develop aconceptual framework to provide the foundation for discussing critical openinnovation processes and their implications for managing open innovation at theorganizational, project, and individual level, and Bahemia and Squire (2010)have defined open innovation as a multidimensional construct made up of breath,depth and ambidexterity whose balanced combination is shaped at the NPD levelby considering the types of innovation (radical versus incremental), productcomplexity (discrete versus complex) and the appropriability regime (tightversus weak). These theories have outlined the need for managers to addressmultiple determinants of open innovation at distinctive levels to facilitatethe development of organizational capabilities as key success drivers forinnovation and growth. In this framework, Gassmann,Enkel and Chesbrough (2010) have underlined how it has become apparent smallerand medium-sized firms have been opening up their innovation processes in thelast years. SMEs traditionally encounter severe obstacles in their path towardinnovation as they are usually financially constrained and do not possesscomplementary assets needed to commercialize the innovative technologies theydevelop (Colombo, Laursen, Magnusson, & Rossi-Lamastra, 2012), but some ofthem have been able to overcome their “liability of smallness” (Freeman,Carroll, & Hannan, 1983) by opening up their innovation process and havefound a source of competitive advantage in the protection and leveraging oftheir intellectual property. Some experts have provided managers of SMEs withguidelines for suggesting suitable organizational structures and managerialpractices for the interaction of SMEs with third parties, aimed to facilitatethe development and commercial exploitation of technological knowledge. Theseconsiderations become particularly crucial in family SMEs, where there isaccumulating evidence that family involvement in businesses leads todistinctive objectives and sets of assumptions for managers about the wayorganizations should work, and these cognitive frameworks influence the familyfirm managers’ behavioral processes (Kotlar, De Massis, Frattini, Bianchi,& Fang, 2013). Family firms are different fromnon-family enterprises in the way they operate and are governed (Cassia, DeMassis, & Pizzurno, 2012).

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Past research indicates that family firms followparticularistic goals such as keeping authority and control in the hands of thefamily; behaving altruistically with other family members; fulfilling thefamily members’ sense of belonging, affection, and intimacy; and growing theprestige and reputation of the family. These noneconomic, Ambra MazzelliResearch Proposal: Innovation Management in Family SMEs 5  family-centeredgoals create utilities that are important to family firm managers because theycreate socioemotional wealth for the family (Gómez-Mejía, Haynes, Núñez-Nickel,Jacobson, & Moyano- Fuentes, 2007). Moreover the overlapping betweenbusiness and ownership in family firms gives family governance and managementunique characteristics such as personalization of authority, lower pressure fortransparency and disclosure, informal decision-making processes and lessorganized organization and coordination structure that also affect goalsetting. (Kotlar & De Massis, 2013). In this particular framework,only few studies have tried to understand how the family element could impacton innovation management. Some researchers have observed that family SMEs tendgenerally to invest less in product innovation due to the high agency costs.

Kotlar, De Massis, Frattini, Bianchi and Fang (2013) have tried to understandthe behavioral drivers of external technology acquisition in family andnonfamily firms, showing that managers in family firms are generally morereluctant to acquire external technology, but they become more favorable toconsidering the adoption of an open approach to technology development whensome protection mechanisms increase the managers’ perceptions of control overthe technology trajectory. Cassia, De Massis and Pizzurno (2012) haveinvestigated the relationship between the presence of the family variablewithin a business enterprise and the managerial factors affecting the successof new product development showing how family businesses were inclined tooriginate NPD project with long-term thrust. However, what emerges, is alack of a global overview about the effect of family element on innovationmanagement in SMEs. No insights are available about the effect of familygovernance and management on technological acquisition and other strategicdecisions at new product development level.

Moreover, previous research aboutinnovation in family firms have mostly examined the link of family involvementto innovation inputs and outputs and relying on predetermined theoreticalframeworks such as agency theory and transaction costs economics. Furtherempirical and theoretical studies seem to be necessary in order to find newinsights and statistically generalized previous findings. Research Design andMethodology In order to generate novelinsights in both innovation management and family SMEs fields and answer thefundamental research questions herein presented, this study will primarily relyon the collection of quantitative data aimed at producing empirical analysis ofa topic of interest that may be generalized to a larger population. In order totest hypotheses and theories about the effects of firm size and family elementon innovation activities performance and external technology Ambra MazzelliResearch Proposal: Innovation Management in Family SMEs 6  acquisitionat both firm and new product development level, the methodologies developed by(Cooper & Edgett, 2012) in the context of product innovation managementwill be adopted by implementing the following actions: ?Population definition and sample selection: the choice of population will becrucial, because it defines the set of entities from which the research sampleis to be drawn, controls extraneous variation and helps to define the limitsfor generalizing the findings. Representative samples of English firms quitedistributed among all industrial sectors will be primarily chosen as referencefor the analysis, but I hope to be able to further enlarge this sample byleveraging on resources and people working at the IEED. This should allow me tobuild multi-national samples to account, for example, for the effect ofdifferent national patent regimes on the extent of external technologyacquisition, and that of regulation and institutional pressure on innovationmanagement performance. Manufacturing industry will be initially avertedbecause in such industries firms’ products typically embrace elements orsubsystems developed by other players (Kotlar J.

, De Massis, Frattini,Bianchi, & Fang, 2013). ?Collection of quantitative data using existing databases, but also detailedquestionnaires, surveys and, where needed, site visits in order to obtaininformation about different practices at business unit level in wide range ofmanufacturing sub-sectors. ?In-depth analysis of a set of businesses identified for their exceptionalpractices in order to generate the basis for a valid benchmarking study. ? Final empirical analysis, bydeveloping a model based on the comparison between best and worst performers inorder to investigate relationships and correlations between relevant variablespreviously identified and finally test the hypotheses.

 Timescale Below is a breakdown of the research project processes and its estimated time. A total of approximately four years is required to produce the expected output consisting in three research articles. Process Time Expected Output Literature Review First year Draft Literature Review Methodology Acquisition First and Second year Knowledge about Research Design and Methodology   


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