RI – A Drain on Company Resources or a Competitive Advantage?

Schroeder, Doris orcid iconORCID: 0000-0002-3633-2758 (2019) RI – A Drain on Company Resources or a Competitive Advantage? In: Responsible Innovation. SpringerBriefs in Research and Innovation Governance . Springer, pp. 51-69. ISBN 978-94-024-1719-7

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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/978-94-024-1720-3_5


Responsible innovation (RI) is an approach to business that can both incur and save costs. Some company leaders are concerned that it is yet another administrative and financial burden on their commercial operations. Others can see its financial advantages, e.g. avoiding the development of products the market will not accept, or reducing costs through sustainability measures. Building on the corporate responsibility and management advice literature, this chapter indicates a number of areas where RI can create a competitive advantage for SMEs. Real life case studies provide examples of reduced costs, reputational gains, employee retention, faster market entry, access to previously unavailable stakeholders, higher acceptability of end products, and higher innovation potential through diverse employees. Success cannot be guaranteed, but the willingness of an SME to innovate in areas that have positive societal impact in addition to profits can bring business benefits.

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