Innovation in the “forgotten businesses”


  • Glessia Silva Departamento de Administração (UFS/DAD), Universidade Federal de Sergipe, Sao Cristovao
  • Luiz Carlos Di Serio Department of Production and Operational Management, Fundacao Getulio Vargas Escola de Administracao de Empresas de Sao Paulo



Innovation, Small business, Research, Operationalization, Field


Purpose – The objective of this article is to discuss how the research on innovation in the small businesses
may be operationalized. This paper discusses the field’s concepts, typologies, units of analysis and the
general basic assumptions pertaining to the operationalization of innovation research in small businesses.
Design/methodology/approach – The article is an essay, whose format aims to provide the reader with
reflections and multiple questions, by instigating the free thinking, the research as well as the construction of
different ideas and/or perceptions in a logical and scientific way (Meneghetti, 2011). Thus, a conceptual
approach for the operationalization of the innovation research in small businesses is proposed and discussed.
Findings – Most of the innovation literature has ignored the small businesses, so that its core concepts and
basic assumptions should be reviewed in an inclusive approach. The authors developed an analytical
proposal that consists of a four-step logical approach to researching innovation in small businesses, starting
from the innovation’s concept as something important and then evolving to discussing how one has to try and
see the small business as an object of study.
Originality/value – The value of this paper lies with the attempt to critically bring the small businesses
into the spotlight, as study them has practical and theoretical implications that go beyond the field of
innovation itself.


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Innovation in the “forgotten businesses”. (2021). INMR - Innovation & Management Review, 18(4), 350-364.