Crisis, innovation and change management: a blind spot for micro-firms?

Dimos Chatzinikolaou, Charis Vlados

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This paper aims to explore how the owners of less competitive micro-firms (MFs) perceive the “crisis–innovation–change management” triangle. It examines whether their understanding of these overarching entrepreneurship theory principles is inadequate compared to the relevant scientific literature.

This qualitative analysis follows principles based on the inductive method and grounded theory, thickly describing the results from research conducted in a sample of 38 tertiary-sector MFs in the Eastern Macedonia and Thrace region – one of the least developed and competitive areas across Europe. It triangulates the data with 11 respective small firms.

MF owners perceive the crisis as an ostensibly exogenous phenomenon, innovation as something quasi-unattainable – although vaguely significant – and change management as a relatively unknown process. This understanding lies somewhat distant from the extant literature that examines the structural nature of crises, the innovational power to exit profound restructurings and the rebalancing requisite for building new overall organizational methods to survive this internal–external transformation. In essence, the triangle crisis–innovation–change management is a blind spot for the examined MF owners as they ignore its significance as an adaptation mechanism – contrary to several direct competitors.

Social implications
Based on the reluctance of these individuals to cultivate their systematic business knowledge, it seems unrealistic that they would seek to pay the necessary high price for business consulting in the future. An ideal solution would be to build public entrepreneurship clinics to provide these less dynamic and adaptable organizations with free preliminary or in-depth counseling. The Institute of Local Development-Innovation could aim to provide free consulting services to reinforce organizational physiology by coordinating different socioeconomic actors.

To the best of our knowledge, this empirical research is one of the first to test the comprehension of weaker MFs – less competitive and developed in organizational terms – to the triangle crisis–innovation–change management.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Entrepreneurship in Emerging Economies
Publication statusPublished - 27 Oct 2022


  • entrepreneurship
  • Micro-firms
  • Crisis
  • Innovation
  • Change management
  • Entrepreneurship reinforcement policy


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