Technology intelligence practices in SMEs: Evidence from Estonia

Akhatjon Nasullaev    
Raffaella Manzini    
Tarmo Kalvet    


Technology intelligence is regarded as a strategic tool to support open innovation to identify promising niches of technologies, opportunities and threats, potential partners, future customers and markets. However, it has often been neglected by SMEs due to their constraints in money, time, skills and competences. Hitherto, the literature documented very few cases of the operationalization of technology intelligence practices by small firms of catching-up economies. To remedy this gap, this paper investigates the case of three Estonian SMEs in the manufacturing, information technology and life-sciences industries. Our analysis reveals that elements of technology intelligence in large and small companies are similar. The three medium and small sized companies investigated in this study adopted these elements to their specific context orchestrating their organizational and cultural characteristics. This study details these elements and allows us to understand more precisely the process underlying the phenomenon of technology intelligence in small companies. The major finding of this paper is that a unique set of technology intelligence does not exist. It is important to tailor different elements of technology intelligence to determined needs. It is crucial in the case of SMEs in order to address the limitations mentioned above.

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