Technology-product integration in SMEs: the unclear separation between the technology and product development
The differences between technology and product are clear and established in the literature. This paper investigated the hypothesis that some SMEs are unable to distinguish technologies and products within their innovation processes, occasioning product technology integration problems. This study aims to explore the technology-product integration in SMEs through the analysis of the application of simultaneous and sequential integration strategies. A case research method was employed to investigate and compare successful product innovations of 22 SMEs. Data were collected through interviews and using a semi-structured questionnaire. The findings indicate that most of these companies either do not use integration strategies or use them inappropriately. The technology-product integration management in SMEs needs further investigation and new methods. This research is one of the first attempts to investigate the technology-product integration within SMEs, which is a class of companies essential for innovation in industry. Past studies have focused large companies only, which can be considered a complete different context.