Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/2445/175794
Title: The role of responsible innovation in increasing firm performance in small and medium-sized enterprises and increasing their sustainability
Author: Gonzales Gemio, Carla Tattiana
Director/Tutor: Cruz Cázares, Claudio
Keywords: Innovacions tecnològiques
Responsabilitat social de l'empresa
Impressió 3D
Petita i mitjana empresa
Desenvolupament sostenible
Technological innovations
Social responsability of business
Three-dimensional printing
Small business
Sustainable development
Issue Date: 22-Mar-2021
Publisher: Universitat de Barcelona
Abstract: [eng] It is difficult to imagine life without changes influenced by technology and innovation, which are characteristic of the era in which we live, with changes that, albeit always present throughout the history of mankind, are today presented as challenges for companies, organisations and governments, which pursue sustainable development, that is, prudent use of resources for the benefit of humans and the ecosystem around us, in a way that makes available such resources today and into the future. Unfortunately, the outcome of business innovation practices that are at the centre of these processes have resulted in the exclusion of four billion segment of the population comprising low-income groups in developing countries, also in degradation of natural resources, climate change, social inequality and excessive consumption of resources, because perhaps what was once good and innovative is now no longer so. In this context, debates have emerged and caught the attention of researchers and practitioners about how companies could innovate in a way that promotes sustainable development, which comes from "innovation", but also it to be "responsible". Responsible innovation (RI) deepens the relationship between science and society, which seeks for innovation under a democratic governance framework to be better integrated into society to ensure its contribution and benefits are effective. But how does responsible innovation in industry happen? In other words, in terms of one of the most widely used definitions in the academic context, “responsible innovation means taking care of the future through collective stewardship of science and innovation in the present”. Although this last definition acknowledged responsible innovation as a practice closely related to sustainability, the way in which its integration happen into industry is still in its infancy, and even more so when it comes from small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). This discussion remains one of the major research gaps analysed in this thesis. Moreover, in order to survive in a global and highly competitive environment, SMEs seek to achieve sustainable development through technological innovations. 3D printing (3DP) holds substantial promise for sustainability and the creation of a circular economy. Although 3D printing does not have a real sense of poverty alleviation in developing countries, has the potential to be a transformative alternative to the local production and consumption system. Manufacturing requires an understanding of local cultural issues that affect the management and organizational practices on which the competitiveness of enterprises is based. In that sense, once the decision is made to use a technology, it must be adopted and implemented. However, 3D printing, in that sense, is currently in the early stages of adoption especially from the perspective of small and medium enterprises. Therefore, in order to strengthen this area of research, this dissertation presents a comprehensive analysis of the factors influencing the adoption of 3D printing by different types of SMEs. This analysis is therefore another of the main topics analysed in this thesis. Regarding the main topics of this thesis, unawareness of the potential value of responsible innovation for SMEs with the common objective of reaching sustainability, that generates economic benefits, but also generate social value connected to the global challenges of society. Even more so in a developing country, such as Bolivia, means once again being left out of an important socio-economic development, in a society that is marginal to what is going to happen. Bolivia has been undergoing a major boom period in recent years due to the price of oil and its derivatives, which has led to one of the best GDP per capita indices in Latin America, but despite these indicators, it is one of the poorest countries in the region with one of the highest indices of inequality, which could increase levels of poverty and extreme poverty, which in 2019 were 37.2% and 12.9% respectively (INE, 2019). These are part of the greatest challenges that Bolivia still faces. Thus, the third analysis for understanding the spread of responsible innovation is through corporate social responsibility (CSR) practices. This understanding is crucial for SMEs because, CSR seems to have a relevant capability of promoting responsible innovation, in particular resulting from collaboration with other stakeholders. Based on the existing literature, this dissertation proposes three different analyses. The first empirical study explores the key factors that determine the adoption of 3DP technology by SMEs in Arizona in the United States. Their results suggest that factors such as relative advantage, integration, readiness, managerial obstacles, and in turn, external collaboration foster the adoption of 3DP. The second study deals with a systematic literature review to develop a conceptual model for responsible innovation and its relationship with business performance through corporate social responsibility and sustainable innovation practices. The last one empirical study focuses on explore whether CSR practices towards stakeholders promotes RI and financial performance, findings suggest that the relationship between CSR and financial performance mediated by responsible innovation was positive but weak. Finally, the results of this dissertation join the emerging debate on responsible innovation and its application in SMEs. The focus is on SMEs because they represent 98% of the companies in the world. Their achievements have the potential to generate a major impact on the country's economy and society. Furthermore, this dissertation could also help researchers and practitioners to new insights to address responsible innovation for society, with society and for sustainable development.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/2445/175794
Appears in Collections:Tesis Doctorals - Facultat - Economia i Empresa

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