Improvement of Innovation Capacity of SMEs in Republic of Serbia by Connecting with Key Stakeholders

  • Suzana Djukic University of Nis, Faculty of Economics
  • Ljiljana Stankovic
  • Vinko Lepojevic
Keywords: innovation, capacity, SMEs Serbia, stakeholders, connecting, knowledge networks, competitiveness


The SMEs role in the process of economy restructuring of Serbia and its European integration is of increasing importance. Undisputedly, SMEs in Serbia are facing numerous problems in the operation and performance of innovative activities. Starting from the existing theoretical views about the importance of creating innovative SMEs business network which results in the creation and delivery of unique value to the market, the author is inclined to explore the innovative capacity of SMEs in Serbia and identify opportunities for cooperation with key stakeholders.  Obtained results show that SMEs managers in Serbia do not completely understand the importance of key stakeholders for innovation capacity enlargement as it was expected. Different business networks, such as clusters and business incubators, which are in the developed world are considered as a chance for growth and development of SMEs, are not utilized as a chance in Serbia. On the basis of this empirical research, it can be concluded that the tendency to independency i.e. closed type of SMEs innovation in Serbia can be attributed to numerous factors. The long transition process relative to other countries in Central and Eastern Europe, insufficient systemic efforts and institutional support to their development, inadequate business orientation, organizational culture and the awareness of managers of SMEs in Serbia are the most important limiting factors. Overcome of such situation will allow increasing of the SMEs innovation capacity in Serbia and their competitiveness. In the survey data were collected by personal interview and in-depth interview. The survey was conducted on a sample of 304 small and medium-sized enterprises. The statistical analysis program SPSS was used to make the data analysis.  Descriptive statistics and Factor analysis were also used in the analysis of the responses to the research questions.