The assessment of the capabilities for innovation by small and medium industry in Nigeria.


Abereijo, Isaac Oluwajoba , Ilori, Matthew Oluwagbemiga , Taiwo, Kehinde. and Adegbite, Stephen Akinade

The study assessed the ability and competencies of the manufacturing SMEs to innovate. A sample population of 100 companies located in Ibadan and Lagos cities were purposively selected among these manufacturing industries operating in the Food and Beverages; Pulp, Paper and Paper Products; and Plastic and Rubber Products industrial sectors. The primary data were collected through questionnaire, and then analysed using descriptive and inferential statistics. The results showed that none of them achieved major innovations that could be considered unique and science-based. However, some (43%) obtained average innovative index score (∏2) between 0 and 2, which showed that the innovation type in all these companies was mostly incremental. Among the few (14%) that showed some level of originality their innovative abilities was significantly related to some internal factors which included higher academic degree, education in science or engineering, and relevant working experience in large corporation/multinationals and university/research institute of the founder/manager. Other variables that significantly related to the innovative index ∏2 are the extent of investment in the research and development, and on employees training. Similarly, an external factor, which was exposure to research and development outputs from the universities and research institutes, had significant relationship with their innovative ability. In addition, the results also indicated that the external inputs which the companies needed for internal learning and innovation came through interactions with other external agents. It could then be concluded that specialised knowledge, educational background in science and engineering, accumulation of the technological capabilities through continuous investments on research and development (R & D) and training, and experience from large corporations and the research institutes, are important in enhancing technological learning and achievement of innovativeness in SMEs.

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