Enterprise policies and R&D support for high-tech SMEs: a multi-perspective approach



Park C & Mcquaid R (2023) Enterprise policies and R&D support for high-tech SMEs: a multi-perspective approach. Policy Studies, pp. 1-22.

This article examines the role of enterprise policy and R&D subsidy schemes in supporting high-tech Small-and Medium-sized Enterprises, by examining a case study of South Korea. A qualitative approach is used to analyse the perspectives of three stakeholder groups, entrepreneurs, national policymakers and policy-practitioners (including street-level bureaucrats working in bodies directly supporting the SMEs), based on semi-structured interviews with 35 participants. The findings suggest, first, that there was a mismatch in the conceptualizations of entrepreneurship, with policymakers and policy-practitioners focusing on entrepreneurship as the event of starting-up a business and entrepreneurs more on innovation. Second, while all groups feel the policy was beneficial, policymakers and policy-practitioners argue it was necessary to have a strict implementation process so-as-to deliver the subsidy fairly across many SMEs. In contrast, entrepreneurs considered such stringent and complicated policy implementation, and policy discontinuities, as impeding the R&D performance of SMEs. Third, although perspectives varied, all believed that flexibility in the policy implementation process is required to improve policy efficacy. The study highlights the critical role of "bottom-up" policy approaches to improve policy efficacy; especially policy-practitioners' interactions and networking with entrepreneurs in the policy development and implementation processes. This study contributes to understanding the roles and perspectives of stakeholder groups in developing and implementing enterprise policies.

Enterprise policy; R&D support; high-tech SMEs; start-ups; owner-managers; entrepreneurs

Policy Studies

Publication date31/10/2023
Publication date online31/10/2023
Date accepted by journal03/10/2023
PublisherInforma UK Limited

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Professor Ronald McQuaid

Professor Ronald McQuaid

Emeritus Professor, Management, Work and Organisation