Additive manufacturing in SMEs: empirical evidences from Italy

Marzi, Giacomo and Zollo, Lamberto and Boccardi, Andrea and Ciappei, Cristiano (2018) Additive manufacturing in SMEs: empirical evidences from Italy. International Journal of Innovation and Technology Management, 15 (1). p. 1850007. ISSN 0219-8770

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Abstract

Research on innovative technological methods in SMEs’ production processes is progressively receiving attention. However, little is known about the emerging phenomenon of Additive Manufacturing (AM), which may represent a significant strategic lever for fostering a company's competitiveness and performance, especially for SMEs. Our aim is to investigate the effects of AM on SMEs’ production process, in order to better understand the relative outcomes of such an innovative technique. We used latent content analysis for empirically analyzing SMEs present in one of the most important Italian gold jewelry districts. Our findings suggest that the AM introduction in a company’s production process effectively results in many positive outcomes, such as process innovation, customer satisfaction, costs, revenues, profits, and competitive advantage. Specifically, there is a positive linkage between AM and a company’s performance. Hence, such an innovative technique may be interpreted as a viable growth strategy for SMEs. Theoretical and managerial implications are discussed.

Keywords:additive manufacturing, 3D printing, Product innovation, New Product Development, process innovation
Subjects:N Business and Administrative studies > N200 Management studies
Divisions:Lincoln International Business School
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ID Code:28839
Deposited On:27 Sep 2017 18:26

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