A model of success: (creation of a) culture of friendly innovation generation for german SMEs

Gordon Lemme


In the course of the demographic development in Germany, the ratio of elderly workers grows compared to the share of young qualified employees. As a consequence, professional shortages are an increasingly growing problem. Hence, it is more and more important, especially for German small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), to develop strategies in order to handle this demographic change. Skilled employees have a major impact on the development of innovations particularly in SMEs. Their closely customer-corporate relationship in combination with a high number of SMEs in Germany forces them to be innovative in order to stand out from the crowd. Due to identified deficits regarding an appropriate human resources management as well as a structured innovation process management within SMEs, the German Federal Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs is funding several research projects to support SMEs by using a set of manifold instruments with the aim to solve the stated problems. The presented research project, called generIK (setting up generation equitable innovation cultures within SMEs), aims to sensitize SMEs and business leaders to build up such a generation friendly innovation culture as part of a holistic corporate culture. Instead of the age of an employee it is his/her personal attitude to the work which decisively influences the engagement to improve products, what finally can lead to the realization of innovations. As further research results, the scientists developed several analysis-methods among them an instrument to conduct a company-specific self-validation for SMEs. To strengthen the market position of SMEs in times of the demographic change which should be accompanied by a rise of employee and customer satisfaction, the output of our project has to be disseminated to the SMEs and especially to the business leaders.



Innovation. Management. Demographic change. Elderly worker.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.22279/navus.2013.v3n2.p68-76.149


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NAVUS - Revista de Gestão e Tecnologia, Florianópolis, Santa Catarina, Brasil. ISSN - 2237-4558 

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