SME Policy Research | Skillnet Ireland Management Development

SME Policy Research


Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are a key component of the Irish economy and strengthening the SME sector is vital to sustainable economic growth in Ireland. With the economic landscape dominated by SMEs, evidence of policies and interventions that effectively enhance the capacity of SMEs is of critical importance. Skillnet Ireland is committed to supporting SME policy research and its application to improving SME performance.

Skillnet Ireland has formed a research partnership with the College of Business at Dublin Institute of Technology. The partnership has produced a conference series showcasing research contributions that directly address the opportunities, challenges and issues facing Irish SMEs. The Second Annual Skillnet Ireland SME Research Stakeholder Conference took place in Dublin during April 2018. As a knowledge transfer and networking event, the conference targets enhanced dissemination of both national and international SME research and future collaboration of industry, academia, government and development agencies.

The Inaugural Skillnets SME Research Stakeholder Conference, the first in a series of initiatives between Skillnet Ireland and the College of Business at Dublin Institute of Technology, took place in May 2017.


Pictured are: Dr. Anthony Buckley, DIT, Dr. Paul Davis, DCU, Paul Healy, Skillnets CEO, Professor Brian Norton, DIT President, Prof. Helen McGuirk, CIT, Dr. Deirdre McQuillan, University of Bradford, Dr. Claire McBride, DIT, Dr. Peter Robbins, Maynooth University, Dr. Brian Harvey, DCU, and Dr. Lawrence Dooley, Cork University Business School.


Leading business academics from across Ireland and the UK presented eight research papers on management best practice to key stakeholders from the SME sector, including enterprises, SME representative bodies, national and regional enterprise development agencies, Government representatives and academics. The research addresses the challenges and issues of Irish SMEs and could have a valuable impact for businesses on their bottom line.

Paul Healy, Skillnet Ireland Chief Executive, stated: “Investing in management is vital for the long-term success of any business and having access to the very latest research and knowledge is key to getting ahead in the market.”

2017 Research Papers

Driving firm-level innovation
Prof Helena Lenihan, Kemmy Business School, University of Limerick

Micro enterprises participation in the public procurement market
Dr Paul Davis, Dublin City University Business School

Evaluating SME Performance and state support
Dr Anthony Buckley, College of Business, Dublin Institute of Technology

Assessing the impact of firm contingincies on sectoral system of innovation fit based on firm age and strategic intent
Dr Claire McBride, College of Business, Dublin Institute of Technology

Understanding events in SMEs – insights and implications for HRM
Dr Brian Harney, Dublin City University Business School

Innovation without R&D – the SME secrets of competitive advantage
Dr Lawrence Dooley, Cork University Business School

Innovation and how SMEs go about it
Dr Peter Robbins, Department of Design Innovation, Maynooth University

Internationalisation of creative professional service firms
Dr Deirdre McQuillan, University of Bradford School of Management

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