Drawing knowledge from external sources in the UK, or internationally, has become increasingly important to small and medium-sized firms (SMEs). SMEs cannot generate all they need to know to develop new products and processes within their own companies, they need to look elsewhere for new ideas and expertise. This practice is known as knowledge sourcing.
This report provides a detailed review of patterns of knowledge sourcing, and the key factors influencing these patterns, particularly from a small business perspective. The authors present key findings from a survey of 393 UK companies and analyse the results. They also highlight case studies of UK SMEs that work closely with overseas partners and agents to widen their own knowledge.