Strategic innovativeness of smes vs. large mnes: Functional yogurts in italy

Giacomo Boesso, Francesco Favotto, Andrea Menini, Kamalesh Kumar


Innovation and differentiation are key success factors that allow companies to target themost profitable niches of their market. The purpose of this research is to present a detailedempirical study of Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) and Multinational Enterprises(MNEs) as they actively pursue new product development in order to acquire a competitiveadvantage based on differentiation. The research provides an in-depth analysis of theemerging products in the dairy industry, using well-established managerial theories and referringto a national contest (Italy) where the dynamicity of the SMEs is well known worldwideand the investments in R&D are chronically below the European average. This studyinvestigates a highly advanced segment of the yogurt market that has registered the largestgrowth in recent years. Furthermore, a significant presence of new products proposed bylocal SMEs and large MNEs provides a unique environment for a comparative analysis ofcompetition and innovation


Product development; SME

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