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Innovations in Austrian SMEs: Attitudes-Motives-Impact-Implementation-Cooperations

Hanns Pichler, Vienna University of Economics and Business, Austria

The study, based on a comprehensive sample focusing – for the first time – on the SME sector specifically, tries to depict entrepreneurial and business potentials as to prevailing innovation-oriented attitudes and related activities, differentiated by relevant sizeclasses (EU definition) and major sectors. 

The term „innovation“ thereby follows the commonly accepted and widely used Oslo/OECD definition which – with a kind of Schumpeterian touch – has proved itself more readily being applicable also to smaller and entrepre-neurially driven entities.

Results on the whole clearly demonstrate that SMEs, in reflecting the specifically small scale Austrian business structure, with over 99% of non- primary business establishents being of small and medium size, represent the mainstay of innovative forces and potentials in the country; thus, visibly outperforming the minority of larger enterprises (which quite often maintain their R&D units at respective headquarters abroad anyway).

Not the least as a guide or tool for innovation-conducive policy orientation and formulation, the study in more detail tries to demonstrate and analyse:
  • Inclinations/attitudes toward innovations overall
  • "Regularity" of innovative activities (incl. non-innovative attitudes)• Motives/impulses for engaging in innovations
  • Relative (longitudinal) impact on employment and sales
  • Extent/Comparison of self-generated or purchased innovations
  • Relative innovative training intensity for employees (by sizeclasses)
  • Innovation-oriented forms/types of cooperations and related problems
  • Innovation barriers (comparison innovative/non-innovative SMEs)
Assistance/support needs by phases of the innovation process


Born 1936 in Aspach, Austria. Graduated from Vienna University of Economics and Business, (Master’s 1958; Doctorate 1960) and Univ. of Illinois, USA (M.Sc. Economics/Econometrics, 1963); Dr. habil. in Economics (1967). Senior Economist/Resident Representative, World Bank Group (1965-74) with far ranging responsibilities in Latin America, the Caribbean, Eastern Africa, and especially South & South-East Asia. From 1973/74 full professor (chair: "Political Economy and International Development); Head, Department & Institute of Economics, 1975-2004; Emeritus since 2004.

Senior Schumpeter Fellow, Center for European Studies/Harvard University. President/Chairman and memberships of various scientific as well as professional societies and institutions; Editor/Editorial Board member of national/international scientific journals with receognition and distribution world wide. Dean/;Legatus, European Academy of Sciences & Arts (til 2012); Consultant/Representative, ICOMP-International Council on Management of Population Programs; Consultant World Bank Group and UNIDO; Arbitrator, I.C.S.I.D. (World Bank); Overseas Supervisor, China Scholarship Council; Past President, International Council for Small Business (ICSB).

Awards/Honours: Best Thesis Award, Austrian Chambre of Labour (1960); Cardinal lnnitzer Science Award (1966); University of Economics Honours Prize (1982); Austrian Cross of Honour for Science & Art, First Class (1988); Leopold Kunschak-Award (1990); Honorary Doctorate in Economics, Cath. Univ. Brussels (1994); Grand Decoration of Honour in Silver to the Republic of Austria (2001); Wilford White Fellow, International Council for Small Business (2003); Knight, Old Order of St. George (2006);American Order of Merit („OM“, 2009); ICSB President’s Award for Outstanding Services (2009); abi, Hall of Fame (2010); PhD Certificate in Gold, Vienna University of Economics & Business (2010); Honorary Fellow, Academia Scientiarum et Artium Europaea (2013); Fellow, ECSB (2014).

Listings in various Who is Who editions and international scientific directories. Numerous books, contributions and articles in a broad specter of scientific journals on international economic issues, international finance, development and development strategies; on business leadership, entrepreneurial values and attitudes, on SME structures, related policy issues and entrepreneurship.

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posted by S A J Shirazi @ 3/24/2016 01:39:00 PM,

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