Is innovation always beneficial? A meta-analysis of the relationship between innovation and performance in SMEs

Nina Rosenbusch, J. Brinckmann, A. Bausch

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

866 Citations (Scopus)
2258 Downloads (Pure)


The performance implications of innovation in small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) have attracted considerable interest among academics and practitioners. However, empirical research on the innovation–performance relationship in SMEs shows controversial results. This meta-analysis synthesizes empirical findings in order to obtain evidence whether and especially under which circumstances smaller, resource-scarce firms benefit from innovation. We find that innovation–performance relationship is context dependent. Factors such as the age of the firm, the type of innovation, and the cultural context affect the impact of innovation on firm performance to a large extent.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)441–457
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Business Venturing
Issue number4
Early online date21 Jan 2010
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2011


  • innovation
  • meta-analysis
  • SME's
  • SME performance

Cite this