This paper analyses the impact on performance of the open innovation of SMEs in the Italian wine sector. Currently, innovation is one of the main factors affecting the increasing competition and performance in a traditional manufacturing business such as the wine sector. Following a quantitative research approach, the study analyses the impact of innovation process management (evaluated in terms of investment in R&D and management of key-factors, activities and instruments) on performance, identified by profitability efficiency based on a sample of 109 winegrowing SMEs.
The research contributes to filling the gap in the literature where there is a lack of innovation studies in mature sectors and provides information to help wine managers and owners improve their business by identifying the best business investment area.
Keywords: Innovation, process management, wine sector, SMEs, performance, Data Envelopment Analysis (DEA).