Innovating innovation management in the medical device SME sector through coopetition

DEMBSKI, Dirk (2022). Innovating innovation management in the medical device SME sector through coopetition. Doctoral, Sheffield Hallam University.

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About 95% of all companies in the European medical device industry are SMEs, which are also the source of most innovation in the sector. New EU directives are threatening the innovation capacity and potentially even the survival of these smaller firms, since SMEs may not have the resources needed to comply with the new regulations. This thesis explores coopetition, a partnership between companies that usually compete, as an alternative business model to keep delivering innovation. To provide practical value to leaders of medical device SMEs, the focus is on identifying the critical success factors for coopetition in this specific industry and under the influence of the new regulations. The chosen research methodology uses qualitative methods to gather data from 15 senior executives working in diverse medical device product categories by means of semi-structured interviews. Grounded theory was adopted as the methodological approach, with data analysed using different coding techniques, which provides deep insights into a complex topic. As a result of the study, recertification and business continuity under the new medical device directives takes full attention of senior management. Nevertheless, SMEs need to keep innovating to secure their future. Whilst balancing both aspects, the study shows that collaborating with a competitor can help to overcome resource issues, but for coopetition to be a successful business model between SME in the medical device industry, they must minimise barriers. The barrier that stood out throughout the interviews was ‘trust’ between the partnering companies. Studies so far have not examined the concept of ‘trust’ in detail, let alone specify the requisite type of trust necessary. This research identified the trust involved as ‘conditional trust’ that starts with agreeing rules and boundaries before the coopetitive relationship deepens. Aligned to this is positioning organisational culture, structure and leadership that will lead to successful outcomes. SMEs must determine and agree appropriate representations of values, beliefs, and aspirations, as well as the behaviours, for instance communication, empowerment, and ability to compromise.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Thesis advisor - Woodhead, Roy
Additional Information: Director of studies: Dr. Roy Woodhead
Research Institute, Centre or Group - Does NOT include content added after October 2018: Sheffield Hallam Doctoral Theses
Identification Number:
Depositing User: Colin Knott
Date Deposited: 11 Nov 2022 14:39
Last Modified: 11 Oct 2023 11:31

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