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R&D Intensity, Quality Management, and Product Innovation of SMEs in Ghana

OMARI, DACOSTA (2023) R&D Intensity, Quality Management, and Product Innovation of SMEs in Ghana. Doctoral thesis, Durham University.

Full text not available from this repository.
Author-imposed embargo until 20 September 2026.


The importance of product innovation to individuals, firms, and society cannot be overstated. In light of this, there has been considerable effort to unravel the antecedents of product innovation. While previous contributions have predominantly focused on the direct relationship between R&D intensity and product innovation, the underlying mechanisms of the relationship still need to be researched and better understood. Previous research acknowledges the crucial role of quality management in the innovation processes, yet it remains unclear how quality management manifests in the R&D intensity and product innovation relationship. Moreover, questions remain about the inherent boundary conditions that might render R&D intensity more beneficial to quality management, and consequently product innovation. Accordingly, this thesis investigates both the direct and indirect effects of R&D intensity on product innovation via quality management in the context of SMEs. Moreover, this thesis examines the conditions under which R&D intensity is most effective in predicting quality management and product innovation. Further research into the antecedents, intermediate mechanisms and contextual factors would extend theoretical discussions on the antecedent of effective product innovation.

To enrich theorisation and boost confidence in the interpretations of the study, the thesis employs a range of research design considerations and methodological techniques to address the objectives of the research. First, to reveal relevant contextual contingencies, the thesis draws on secondary data to provide a case-based descriptive account of the Ghanaian economy. Moreover, to enable further conceptual development, the thesis utilises qualitative techniques to explore quality management practices to validate its inclusion in the theoretical model. Ultimately, drawing on the preliminary studies and quantitative techniques, a theoretical model is developed and empirically tested using survey data from 241 SMEs in the manufacturing sector of Ghana.

Overall, the findings of the thesis validate the mediating role of quality management in the R&D intensity and product innovation relationship and thus highlight the indirect effect of R&D intensity on product innovation. Moreover, this thesis concludes that the effectiveness of R&D intensity in driving product innovation of SMEs through quality management is contingent on the levels of knowledge integration and financial slack. Characterising how R&D intensity, quality management and product innovation relate in concert with one another in the presence of financial slack and knowledge integration advances our theoretical and empirical understanding of the antecedents of product innovation and extends the innovation literature. The implications of the findings to both the theory and practice of innovation are discussed and useful avenues for future research are proposed.

Item Type:Thesis (Doctoral)
Award:Doctor of Philosophy
Keywords:R&D Intensity, Quality Management, Product Innovation, Financial slack, Knowledge integration, and SMEs.
Faculty and Department:Faculty of Business > Management and Marketing, Department of
Thesis Date:2023
Copyright:Copyright of this thesis is held by the author
Deposited On:20 Sep 2023 11:58

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