About this paper

Appears in:
Pages: 1983-1992
Publication year: 2009
ISBN: 978-84-613-2953-3
ISSN: 2340-1095

Conference name: 2nd International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
Dates: 16-18 November, 2009
Location: Madrid, Spain


M. Sousa1, M. Almeida2

1Aveiro University (PORTUGAL)
2Open University (PORTUGAL)
This paper presents a study about the innovation culture of a Portuguese SME, which has developed a new service to promote Electronic Commerce (E-Commerce) in Portugal.
The central question is: “What are the main factors that allow a small organisation to be successful innovating in E-commerce services? “
In the paper we will make a small literature review about innovation concept and innovation culture to help us to understand the context where Hi-Media innovations are developed and what are the main factors that contributes to promote that context. We will also analyse the origins, obstacles and facilitators of the innovation that promotes E-Commerce – CompraFácil.
Finally, we will realise that their ability to find knowledge and resources for innovation, inside or outside the company - is their crucial element to be an innovative company.

The empiric methodology
To acomplish the empirical work we studied their innovation processes and the individual contribution for creation of the innovation culture. The main techniques to collect data were document analysis, observation and interviews based on a questionnaire about the innovation culture of the organisation and the nature and the implications of the new service that can promote E-commerce in Portugal.

Arguments and findings
A literature review allow us to assume that culture guides and influences people behaviour, specially in small organisations with few resources and with a very important goal – to survive.
Rosenstiel and Koch (2001:201) argue that, like culture in general, “values are an abstraction; they cannot be observed directly. They have to be inferred from indicators. Such indicators can be (a) observable human behaviour, (b) human artefacts, or (c) verbal statements by persons about their value orientation.”
Literature shows that most research on values resorts on the third indicator - verbal statements by persons about their value orientation and one important influence of values is on corporate cultures that in turn represent an important indicator for innovative capacity.
According to this ideas Wieland (2004: 10) conceives the culture of innovation as the institutions (norms, values, formal and informal) that have a significant influence on how the actors involved in an innovation process perceive economic and technical challenges and that provides them with strategies to tackle these.
In the field work we have confirmed the researchers main ideas and this is reflected in our findings. Although Hi-Media culture is characterized by several factors that are supported in all employees values, especially managers values because they influence and promote innovation and experimentation without risk constraints in the company.

We have identified an emerging culture of innovation in this organisation and also the recognition of the growing importance of the service based on the Multibanco protocol by the clients, mainly due to element trust in this system, applied in a large scale to other kind of services and situations.
Also the learning environment in the organisation allows that managers and employees work togheter for the same goals and with intent to innovate creating new services and products.

author = {Sousa, M. and Almeida, M.},
series = {2nd International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation},
booktitle = {ICERI2009 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-613-2953-3},
issn = {2340-1095},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Madrid, Spain},
month = {16-18 November, 2009},
year = {2009},
pages = {1983-1992}}
AU - M. Sousa AU - M. Almeida
SN - 978-84-613-2953-3/2340-1095
PY - 2009
Y1 - 16-18 November, 2009
CI - Madrid, Spain
JO - 2nd International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
JA - ICERI2009 Proceedings
SP - 1983
EP - 1992
ER -
M. Sousa, M. Almeida (2009) INNOVATION CULTURE - THE KEY COMPETENCE, ICERI2009 Proceedings, pp. 1983-1992.