Slack-enabled innovation versus problemistic search: Findings from case studies among SME


Innovations are important for the development of firms and whole economies. Several theoretic

approaches are therefore dealing with innovation and the motivation of firms to motivate. The

Resource-based View of the Firm views innovations to be motivated by the use of slack resources

while the Behavioral Theory of the Firm predicts problemistic search as an important motivation for

innovative maneuvers. Recently, Pitelis proposes an integration of both theories to better explaining

the motivation for innovation. This paper empirically tests the predictions from these theories using

multiple case studies among small and medium enterprises. The results show that firms’ motivation to

innovate is best explained using a combination of both theories.

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