Innovation and business performance of SMEs: the case of Dubai

Document Type


Publication details

Al-Ansari, Y, Pervan, SJ & Xu, J 2013, 'Innovation and business performance of SMEs: the case of Dubai', Education, Business and Society: Contemporary Middle Eastern Issues, vol. 6, no. 3-4, pp. 162-180.

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Purpose – The study aims to explore the innovative characteristics of small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and the link between their innovation and business performance in the emerging Dubai market in the United Arab Emirates.

Design/methodology/approach – Using data from 200 SMEs, the study utilizes a structured survey that was developed from a methodical literature review. Both descriptive and inferential statistics were used to evaluate the findings.

Findings – The findings described the innovative characteristics of SMEs and suggested that there is a significant positive link between innovation and business performance.

Research limitations/implications – The study offers SMEs with innovative behaviors a better perspective of their business and market environments. However, the study is limited to SMEs operating in the Dubai marketplace. Future research could also look at other markets and use qualitative research methods.

Originality/value – The study provides important insights that could guide SMEs in their understanding of innovation and its benefit in emerging markets. The findings reinforce the growing empirical evidence of the positive impact of innovation on business performance. The findings also challenge the assumption that innovation drains resources in emerging markets.

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