Towards an holistic innovation conception (the Stra.Tech.Man approach): The case of Small and Medium (SMEs) enterprises in Greece

Charis Vlados, Fotios Katimertzopoulos, Ioannis Blatsos

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review


This article examines the concept of innovation among SMEs in relation to regional and local development initially at local level in Greece’s case. According to Crossan and Apaydin [1], "Innovation is the production or adoption, assimilation and exploitation of a value-added modernism in the social and economic spheres; the renewal and expansion of products, services and markets; the development of new production methods; and the establishment of new management systems. It is, together, a process and a result." In the present study we adopt the above definition, enriching it with the existence of the interaction of the three dimensions (technology, strategy, management) in each and every innovation [2]. In particular, the issue of the diffusion of innovation is of great interest in our overall view [3]. We also should pinpoint that of great importance, is the distinction between passive adoption and active diffusion of innovation. Development, in the perspective of innovation economics, is therefore reflected as the ultimate product of innovative knowledge, and thus refers to policies that facilitate business and innovation, technology diffusion and interactive relationships between cooperative enterprises. At the same time, they explore the structural effects on the innovation systems that create, reproduce and expand the innovative environments. In the end, all previous theoretical reflexes help us to re-position the issue of the innovative physiological transformation of the company itself in terms of Stra.Tech.Man.[2]. Most of previous research in the concept of innovation has mainly focused on the relationship between innovation and strategy, innovation and management, innovation and technology, without considering the three dimensions together. For example [4] suggest that recently firms and industries, are experimenting a new business model – strategy (open strategy) based on collective creativity through open innovation. Additionally, radical product innovation or incremental process innovation fits to different types of organization and management systems. Moreover, Damanpour et al [5] define technological innovation as the adaption of new technologies that incorporated into processes or products, and provide high competitive advantage [6,7]. As we can see, there is a lack of knowledge about the interplay of the three dimensions regarding the construct of innovation. In this study we adopt a qualitative approach of research, as we want to investigate in depth the specific phenomenon, and there is a lack of qualitative researches in the field. The selection of the case study refers to a region which is one of the regions of Greece with the lowest business development indicators. In the framework of the present study, qualitative research was carried out in 61 small and medium-sized enterprises (employing up to 50 people) in the eastern Macedonia and Thrace. We used open-ended interviews, so that the interviewees feel freer to express themselves and arise problems and aspects that they consider important. The interview guide emphasized on how they perceive innovation, whether they innovate and how, and the obstacles they face to innovate. From the results of the research, there seems to be a large percentage of people who cannot understand the concept of innovation and they also do not know in depth how they can innovate. As an implication of this research, it is of great significance to further deepen the theoretical model of innovation in terms of strategy, technology and management (Stra.Tech.Man) as well as the use of multiple research methods to better understand the specific phenomenon.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication3rd International Conference of Development and Economy I.CO.D.ECON
Publication statusPublished - 2018
Event3rd International Conference of Development and Economy - I.CO.D.ECON. , Kalamata, Greece
Duration: 3 May 20186 May 2018


Conference3rd International Conference of Development and Economy
Internet address


  • Small and medium-sized entrepreneurship and startups
  • Business management
  • strategy
  • marketing
  • Planning
  • training
  • consultingStra.Tech.Man approach


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