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The innovation work environment of high–tech SMEs in the USA and Canada

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This study examined the climate for innovation and creativity, and related outcome measures, in 31 Canadian and 11 US small– and medium–sized enterprises (SMEs), as assessed by 120 R&D engineers in those firms. Prior studies on the innovativeness of countries have been critical of Canadian firms compared to those in other industrialized countries. Our study tested whether differences existed between perceived climates, creativity and productivity of US and Canadian SMEs. The results indicated that the innovative climates and the perceptions of creativity and productivity of US and Canadian firms are very similar. Furthermore, the most important factors relating to creativity (Challenging Work and Organizational Encouragement) were the same for both the USA and Canada. Our conclusion is that support for innovation in Canadian SMEs is comparable with that of US SMEs. Differences in innovation measured at the national level can probably be attributed to other factors, such as industry structure and the degree of innovation in large firms.

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: Clarkson University 2: Long Island University

Publication date: November 1, 2002

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