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Incremental or Radical Product Innovation: Overview of Food and Beverage Sector Small and Medium-Size Enterprises in Malaysia

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This paper presents a profile of product innovation in food and beverage sector SMEs in Malaysia. Additionally, this paper explores specific product innovation activities employed in these SMEs. A survey questionnaire was developed and sent to 687 Malaysian food and beverage manufacturing SMEs, of which 171 respondents were having better performance in new product development, and these were selected for analysis using SPSS. This was to ensure that the main objective of this study—to present a profile of activities and types of product innovation among food and beverage sector SMEs in Malaysia—can be achieved. Most of the respondents active in product innovation activities were medium-size organizations established for more than ten years. Although they realized the importance of producing new products continually, they still showed low levels of investment in R&D. Food and beverage sector SMEs in Malaysia are more focused on incremental product innovation as opposed to radical product innovation. Although the food and beverage sector plays an important role within the Malaysian economy, product innovation in food and beverage sector SMEs has previously received little attention, especially on studies that concentrate on food and beverage sector SMEs in the Malaysian context. This paper contributes by presenting organizational profiles, product development activities, and types of product innovation employed in food and beverage sector SMEs in Malaysia. The findings can be used in the development of public policy aimed at supporting and encouraging innovation among food and beverage sector SMEs in Malaysia.
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Keywords: Food and Beverage Sector; Malaysia; Product Innovation; Small and Medium-Size Enterprise

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: School of Technology Management and Logistics, College of Business, Universiti Utara Malaysia, 06010 Sintok, Kedah, Malaysia 2: School of Business Innovation and Technopreneurship, Universiti Malaysia Perlis, 01000 Kangar, Perlis, Malaysia

Publication date: April 1, 2017

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