Investing in Workplace Innovation Pays Off for SMEs

A Regional Innovation Initiative from the Netherlands

in The International Journal of Social Quality
Author:
Peter OeijTNO Innovation for Life peter.oeij@tno.nl

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Ernest de VroomeTNO Innovation for Life

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Astrid BollandHU University of Applied Sciences Utrecht astrid.bolland@hu.nl

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Rob GründemannHU University of Applied Sciences Utrecht obert.grundemann@hu.nl

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Lex van TeeffelenHU University of Applied Sciences Utrecht lex.vanteeffelen@hu.nl

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From 2009 to 2013 the workplace innovation project “My Enterprise 2.0” was carried out in the region of Utrecht in the Netherlands in order to strengthen the workplace innovation capability of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). Participating enterprises completed a questionnaire regarding the “workplace innovativeness” of their company. A workplace innovation intervention was then implemented by some of the companies, while other companies chose not to take part. At the end of the project, a second questionnaire indicated that those companies that implemented interventions had a significantly higher score with regard to overall workplace innovativeness. The companies without such interventions reported a small decrease. While the companies in the region had higher workplace innovativeness scores relative to a national reference group both before and after the project, the increase in the “workplace innovativeness” of the regional SMEs that experienced interventions suggests that the project proved beneficial to their continued “workplace innovativeness.” Moreover, these companies also reported positive effects on company performance, achieving company goals and improving labor productivity.

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The International Journal of Social Quality

(formerly The European Journal of Social Quality)