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Is small really beautiful? A review of the concept of niches in innovation

Is small really beautiful? A review of the concept of niches in innovation

Coles, Anne-Marie, Piterou, Athena and Sentić, Anton (2017) Is small really beautiful? A review of the concept of niches in innovation. Technology Analysis and Strategic Management, 30 (8). ISSN 0953-7325 (Print), 1465-3990 (Online) (doi:

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This article reviews the concept of innovation niches through three categories: strategic niche management (SNM), specialised markets and niches formed as a technology declines. In the literature, innovation niches generate interest from both innovation and marketing perspectives. This review focuses predominately on the former from which the niche types have been adopted and analysed. Mostly, contributions since 1980 have been included, representing the period of academic interest in innovative small firms, while both temporal and locational filters were applied to the study. It is noted that SNM has been proposed as a means to protect potentially useful innovations from full market competition, while specialist niches supply technologies to few customers in more stable environments. Incumbent technologies at the stage of decline may also retreat to niches where they can still remain competitive. Finally, it is suggested that further research on innovation niches would extend our understanding of technology dynamics.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Innovation niches; Strategic niche management; Specialised technologies; Technology decline
Faculty / Department / Research Group: Faculty of Business
Faculty of Business > Department of Systems Management & Strategy
Faculty of Business > Institute of Political Economy, Governance, Finance and Accountability (IPEGFA) > Greenwich Political Economy Research Centre (GPERC)
Last Modified: 11 Jun 2019 10:20
Selected for GREAT 2016: None
Selected for GREAT 2017: None
Selected for GREAT 2018: GREAT a
Selected for GREAT 2019: GREAT 3

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