Innovation In Pakistan's SMES: Making The Case For Coupling Model And Looking Beyond

  • Saleem Gul
  • Muhammad Nouman


Innovation as a phenomenon has been viewed in many different ways. Starting with Joseph Schumpeter in the 1930s, we have come a long way. Despite loads of literature and research work, our understanding of what innovation is and how to study it especially in the context of SMEs remains inconclusive. Advocating a systems/process approach, the paper opines that studying innovation in the case of Pakistani SMEs will involve taking into account the local perspective. The nature of products/ processes, type of SME sector, role of government and support institutions, as well as technology and market sophistication will greatly influence our interpretation and application of innovation models presented by Roy Rothwell. Owing to weak technology regimes and lack of well-placed market structures for many SME sectors in Pakistan, it is argued that we need to look beyond the first and second generation innovation models to find out why innovation has traditionally been reticent. For Coupling Model (third generation), amendments are proposed. It is argued that the role of entrepreneur, government, other institutions and suppliers needs to be given considerable weight rather than assuming a simple technology-push/market-pull paradigm. The fourth generation models cannot be ratified at this stage since most SME sectors in Pakistan tend to have simpler organizational structures and manufacturing processes weakening the case for parallel development. Additionally, most SME sectors do not operate in technology intensive markets suggesting that the fifth generation models may not be applicable either.
How to Cite
GUL , Saleem; NOUMAN , Muhammad. Innovation In Pakistan's SMES: Making The Case For Coupling Model And Looking Beyond . Business & Economic Review, [S.l.], v. 1, n. 1, p. 20-25, oct. 2009. ISSN 2519-1233. Available at: <>. Date accessed: 01 july 2022.

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