Academic journal article Business: Theory and Practice

Marketing Orientation vs. Innovativeness of SMEs of the Podlaskie Province

Academic journal article Business: Theory and Practice

Marketing Orientation vs. Innovativeness of SMEs of the Podlaskie Province

Article excerpt

JEL Classification: L21, M00.


Schumpeter pointed out that small companies are the best in the implementation of innovation (Kurz 2012). However, their ability to adopt tools and techniques that create innovation is much lower than in the case of large companies (Maravelakis et al. 2006).

In Poland, the SME sector constitutes 99.9% of all the market actors (2014). In the light of the CSO (central Statistical Office of Poland) data, the SME businesses operating in Poland generate every second PLN of the Poland's GDP (47.6% in 2010). The share of the SME sector in Poland in the creation of added value is about 48.4%, while the number of people working in the sector constitutes 2/3 of the total workforce.

Compared to other EU countries, the important role of Polish small and medium-sized enterprises, in terms of the value of the generated GDP and jobs creation, is not consistent with the level of innovativeness in this sector. According to the Innovation Union Scoreboard (IUS), Poland belongs to the third group--the so-called moderate innovators, occupying the 25th place out of 28 EU countries. Polish entrepreneurs are characterized by their unbalanced potential for innovation, based mainly on human resources, with a very weak capacity for introducing innovation and R&D cooperation. The Polish intellectual capital, as a relatively strong side, is therefore not fully used (2014). In terms of the level of innovativeness of the SME sector, Poland occupies one of the last positions in the European Union (European Commission 2014). The results of research confirm that only 28% of Polish companies are undertaking any innovative activities at all, while the average for the EU is 52% (2012). Among the 30 analysed countries, the percentage of innovative small businesses in Poland represents 23% of all enterprises and it puts Poland in the penultimate place before Bulgaria (22%) (Zadura-Lichota 2013; PARP 2013).

The research of the sector of SMEs in Poland, performed in 2012 by the Polish Agency for Enterprise Development (PARP), indicates serious problems with elaboration and implementation of strategic development plans by that group of companies, while pointing out that, in management, short-term considerations dominate over the long-term perspective. The absence of a distinct perspective concerning the functioning and advancement of the majority of the surveyed enterprises of the SME sector is a serious threat to their development, because it does not encourage innovation efforts affecting the long-term competitiveness. According to the research conducted by PARP, in Polish small and medium-sized enterprise sector, planning future actions in a company is done spontaneously (67.7%). In 14.9% of the surveyed enterprises there is no future action planning. 9.3% of the companies plan their actions based on a written strategy, and around 7.7% use research and analyses results commissioned to external entities (Razniewski 2010).

Regularity and continuity of the processes that result in the introduction of innovative changes is not a positive feature of the Polish company. Whereas, as the R. Rothwell observed, no systematic approach means that innovation is only a reaction to the actions of the competitors, to tackle the demands of the market or occasionally in response to emerging opportunities, not conscious, deliberately ongoing activities (Rothwell 1992). Still, a difficult challenge for the SME sector is the planning and implementation of strategic development plans, ensuring a gradual increase in innovativeness, and support for the development of intensive growth factors (knowledge, entrepreneurship, human capital). The review of literature, which aimed at analyzing the determining factors of innovation processes at the enterprise level, indicating that a significant problem is lack of capacity for perspective thinking (Lumpkin, Dess 1996; Radas, Bozic 2009; Rahab 2012; Huang, Wang 2011; Rhee et al. …

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