This paper explores the complex relationship between competition and innovation by analyzing survey data of 2,281 small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the Netherlands. We develop and test hypotheses on the relationships between three dimensions of perceived competition (internal rivalry, supplier power and buyer power) and firms' intentions to engage in product and process innovation. Moreover, we analyze if firms' strategic attention for innovation is a moderating variable. We find that specific innovative intentions relate to different perceptions of competitive forces. Intentions to engage in process innovation correlate with the perceived bargaining power of suppliers, while intended product innovation correlates with perceived buyer power and internal rivalry between incumbent firms in the market but the correlation with internal rivalry is significant only when firms report no strategic attention for innovation.

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International Journal of Innovation Management
Erasmus Research Institute of Management

de Jong, J. (2011). Perceived competition and innovative intentions in Dutch small and medium-sized enterprises. International Journal of Innovation Management, 15(4), 687–707. doi:10.1142/S1363919611003283