Rewards and Innovation Performance in Manufacturing Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs)

Gustave Mungeni Kankisingi, Shepherd Dhliwayo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


The study investigated types of rewards SMEs offered to intrapreneurs and how these (rewards) contribute to innovation performance (IP). A questionnaire was administered to a sample of 300 SME owner-managers from the industrial spatial distribution areas of Kwa-Zulu Natal province in South Africa. Results show that besides a regular salary offered by 99.5% of the SMEs, fewer than 37.1% of them paid other forms of rewards. The empirical findings show that rewards had an influence on innovation performance. From the 17 rewards awarded to intrapreneurs by SMEs, only “promotion within organisation” and “monetary bonus rewards” had a positive and significant influence on innovation performance. Four other rewards had a significant but negative influence on IP. Rewards are an important tool to encourage crowdsourcing intrapreneurial contribution to IP. Rewards should therefore be strategically selected given the limited financial resources in SMEs. The importance of this study is its focus on SMEs, which are characterised by limited information on the effect of rewards on innovation performance, as well as the efficiency driven economic setting, normally not characterised by “innovation performance”. The study also shows how IP can be crowdsourced through appropriate rewards.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1737
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2022
Externally publishedYes


  • Crowdsourcing
  • Innovation performance
  • Intrapreneurs
  • Rewards
  • Small and medium enterprises
  • Sustainability

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Science (miscellaneous)
  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Building and Construction
  • Environmental Science (miscellaneous)
  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology
  • Hardware and Architecture
  • Computer Networks and Communications
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law


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