On the challenges and drivers of implementing responsible innovation in foodpreneurial SMEs

Cristina Covello, Kostas Iatridis

Research output: Chapter or section in a book/report/conference proceedingChapter or section


Scholars working on responsible innovation have recognised the importance of focusing on how the private sector can integrate responsibility in research and innovation processes. Despite the fruitful insights generated, there is still a paucity of studies discussing responsible innovation in SMEs. This chapter enhances knowledge of this topic by discussing the case of 19 foodpreneurial SMEs operating in London, UK. The analysis identifies lack of awareness, time, labour and money as obstacles to responsible innovation while personal values and a concern for societal and environmental wellbeing emerge as business drivers. Furthermore, the study makes particular reference to an important aspect of responsible innovation, namely inclusion, and discusses the SMEs’ unique approach to engaging with their stakeholders. As the findings illustrate, inclusion takes place mostly through informal channels of communication in a way that aligns with views on social capital, which prioritise trust and reciprocity. This contrasts with widely held views suggesting that stakeholders’ claims should be prioritised according to their salience.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationAssessment of Responsible Innovation: Methods and Practices
EditorsEmad Yaghmaei, Ibo van de Poel
Place of PublicationLondon, U. K.
ISBN (Print)9780367279752
Publication statusPublished - 12 Nov 2020


  • Responsible innovation
  • SMEs
  • Foodpreneurs


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