Dean Patton is Professor of Entrepreneurship in the Business School at Bournemouth University. He has worked in the field of entrepreneurship and small firms for some three decades; involved in both the research and the teaching of the subject. Over that period his work, in collaboration with a number of colleagues, has been disseminated widely through journal articles, books and reports. His focus is upon applied research and he has worked closely with agencies charged with supporting entrepreneurial activity both regionally and nationally. His most recent project examines the adoption and use of digital technologies by SMEs and its impact upon performance. Dean is also a consulting editor for the International Small Business Journal.
Published: 14 November 2018
R&D investments enhance knowledge, underpin innovation and facilitate the creation of new firms; this recognised source of economic development has become integral to government policy in many countries. While all firms face difficulties engaging in R&D, new and young firms are most affected facing internal and external factors that inhibit investment or impede the process. A decision to invest in R&D often stalls due to concerns about appropriation and/or limited access to appropriate finance, but once engaged the barriers are found in the nexus of knowledge, networks and skills that underpin dynamic capabilities and the enhancement of a firm’s absorptive capacity. In particular, the emphasis placed in the beginning upon science/technology expertise, at the expense of managerial acumen, undermines a firm’s ability to recognise and exploit commercial opportunities.