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Abstract

In an increasingly globalising market, innovation is an important strategic tool for micro, small, and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) to achieve competitive advantage (Avermaete et al., 2004a; Gellynck et al., 2007; Murphy, 2002). Innovation can be defined as an ongoing process of learning, searching and exploring resulting in new products, new techniques, new forms of organization and new markets (Lundvall, 1995). Innovation is a continuous process characterised by three steps: efforts, activities and results. Efforts are all resources, such as human and financial resources, a firm is investing in activities for the development of innovations. Results are the effects of these innovation activities on tangible (e.g. growth of market share, profit) as well as less tangible aspects (e.g. firm stability, efficiency) (Gellynck et al., 2006). Consequently, the measurement of innovation competences captures also the progress in developing an innovation and not only the result, such as the successful implementation of innovation (Gellynck et al., 2007).

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