n South African Journal of Industrial Engineering - A perspective on open innovation in small- and medium-sized enterprises in South Africa, and design requirements for an open innovation approach

Volume 26, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 1012-277X



This paper provides key results from an exploratory research study aimed at understanding the current landscape in small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in South Africa with regard to their appetite for, and use of, open innovation. The survey, which was conducted within a contained group of SMEs that belong to business network groups on LinkedIn, explored the current use and perception of open innovation. It was found that collaboration is the approach most preferred by the SMEs surveyed, with customers and suppliers as their preferred innovation partners.

Based on the findings of the survey, this paper proposes 25 design requirements, grouped into five functional categories, for an open innovation approach. The design requirements have been developed as a primer to a more complete open innovation approach for SMEs.

Hierdie artikel bied die sleutel resultate van verkennende navorsing gerig op die begrip van die huidige landskap in Suid-Afrika ten opsigte van middelslag en klein besighede se aptyt vir en die gebruik van oop innovasie. Die opname is gedoen onder maatskappye wat deel uitmaak van 'n sake-netwerke groep op LinkedIn, en ondersoek die huidige gebruik van oop innovasie, asook die beplande gebruik van oop innovasie. Samewerking is die benadering meestal verkies deur middelslag en klein besighede, met kliënte en verskaffers as die voorkeur innovasie vennote.

Die artikel stel verder ontwerpvereistes voor vir 'n oop innovasie benadering gebaseer op die bevindinge van die opname. Die ontwerpvereistes word ontwikkel ter voorbereiding vir 'n meer volledige oop innovasie benadering vir middelslag en klein besighede. Vyf en twintig vereistes word in totaal groepeer in vyf funksionele kategorieë.

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