How to cite this article: Paul Rosele Chim, Bertrand Panhuys. The Effectiveness of Innovative Processes in Enterprises Taking Advantage of the
Technology Audit. Ann Soc Sci Manage Stud. 2018; 2(3): 555590. DOI: 10.19080/ASM.2018.02.555590
Background & Purpose: The economic purposes of innovation in enterprises result from their growth strategy. Usually, they comprise replacing the products that are at the end of their life cycle and are withdrawn from the market, broadening the product offer, creating environmentally friendly products, maintaining or increasing the market share, winning new foreign and domestic markets, or increasing the production’s flexibility. Technology audit is one of the special forms of the internal audit in an enterprise. It is not required by law, and usually it does not play a controlling role.
Methodology: Authors have identified 50 enterprises based in the region of Malopolska that have subjected their potential to analysis through a technology audit carried out by a third party (a Business Environment Institution). The research was carried out both on-line, as well as during site visits and personal meetings with the owner or the management. Basic organizational and financial information was prepared by persons delegated by the management/the owner of the enterprise. The target selection was used to select the research sample, determined by the purpose of the research, i.e. to provide information on the effectiveness of the innovation processes in enterprises using the technology audit. Previously, pilot studies were carried out, which allowed to prepare a background for the research described in this article.
Results: 70% of respondents, who are planning to precede their next innovation with a diagnosis of the innovative potential in the form of a technology audit also plan to establish cooperation with an R&D center soon. It might be presumed that this is the consequence of an increased awareness of applying the methodological approach to the next innovative process.
In today’s enterprises, the meaning of innovation results, among others, from increasing social needs, which can be met mainly thanks to science and its achievements. According to Pomykalski , the ability to create and absorb innovation is the greatest challenge of the 21st century. The author defines innovation as a process that involves all activities related to creating an idea, then an invention, and ultimately, to implementing the new (or improved) product, process, or service . In approaching the issue of innovation, it is stressed that the ability to innovate is the prerequisite for the competitive advantage, i.e. the company’s commercial success. The unique character of innovation as a creative process is stressed repeatedly, however the issue of costs of innovation, or the difficulty in balancing the proportion between innovation and the entity’s day-to-day functioning.
Innovation is defined in several ways by economics, psychology and other sciences. In psychology, this idea is discussed, especially
in terms of individual ingenuity and talent, and the reasons behind
them. In the psychological aspect, innovativeness is associated with creativity, or the ability to think divergently, taking up risk and learning. In sociology, innovativeness is presented as a function of the social system, or as a result of the process of social defining of reality . According to Grzywacz , innovation should be treated as an economic category, and not technical, i.e. it must bring tangible benefits to the producer and/or users through more efficient use of resources and increased value of the needs that it meets.
Technological progress, or any other that does not contribute to increased productivity or usefulness, is not innovation. Nowadays, innovativeness is considered a particularly important quality of entrepreneurship . Machaczka  points out that innovation should bring economic effect; the function of entrepreneurship is to transform an idea or project into a specific product or service, which satisfies a specific need and is able to generate profit. As a result, the process allows the entrepreneur to recreate, or even
increase the future production cycles.
Upon analyzing literature, one could conclude that there is
no uniform approach to interpreting the idea of effectiveness,
both in various academic disciplines and among practitioners .
Analyzed in the macro scale, effectiveness is traced back to the
problem of social welfare, the main premise of which is effective
allocation of limited resources . On the other hand, experts in
management theory believe that effectiveness is the measuring
instrument of efficacy in management . There is also the opinion
that an efficiency analysis is not possible without assessing its
effectiveness. In other words, information on effectiveness has a
higher informative value than the information on effectiveness .
Specialists emphasize that efficiency is a multidimensional
concept, indicating e.g. the following dimensions of efficiency .
a) economic, containing criteria to present the relationship
between the effects and investments
b) financial, measured based on past financial indicators
c) market, measuring the degree of satisfying customers’
d) system, illustrating the condition of the enterprise as a
system or its subsystems in relation to long-term goals, such
as survival, development or the ability to change, and the socalled
characteristics of potential systems, such as innovation
e) dynamic (developmental), regarding the ability to create
new products and to acquire new skills
f) operational, referring to the productivity of production
g) political, including the relations of the enterprise with
h) cultural, emphasizing the company’s ability to
consolidate and cultivate the norms and values that allow to
preserve the cultural identity of the society and contribute to
the development of culture
i) social, expressing the interests of employees and
company owners in terms of social needs and roles
j) ecological, emphasizing the impact of the company on
the environment and relations with the environment.
According to Mariusz Bielski , however, there is no
single best criterion for assessing effectiveness. The selection
is subjective and is influenced by the value, preferences and
interests of the entity making the assessment. Therefore, a
single, synthesized criterion of organizational efficiency can’t
be derived and formulating a uniform and universal multicriteria
evaluation system is not possible. Such a system must be
constructed individually, considering the genetic function of the
organization, the set of current goals and their hierarchy set by the
management, and finally, the organization’s objective from which
the assessment is made.
The economic goals of innovation result from development
strategies of enterprises. Typically, they consist of: replacing
products that are withdrawn from the market due to the end
of their life cycle, expanding the range of products, creating
environmentally friendly products, maintaining market share or
increasing it, winning new foreign and domestic markets, and
increasing production flexibility. An important goal is to reduce
production and product design costs, as well as the amount of
deficiencies, to reduce the cycles of preparation and launching
of production, to increase the quality of products, to improve
working conditions and to reduce the level of environmental risk
. However, understanding the nature of innovation poses
The category of a technologically innovative company has
been identified in source literature in early 1990s. Jasiński 
was the first to describe it in Polish literature. In his opinion, “an
innovative company is one that:
a) conducts a wide range of R&D works (or purchases new
products or technologies),
b) allocates relatively large funds for this activity
d) tematically implements new technological and scientific
e) consistently introduces innovations to the market .
Technology entrepreneurs, i.e. entrepreneurs who apply new
technology in practice, use technology as a driving force, a factor
that increases competitiveness. Technological entrepreneurs are
changing the world by introducing new technologies to the market.
This forces companies to constantly improve and modernize their
products, technological processes regarding places and forms of
sale, and methods of contacts with clients. This requires constant
restructuring. Therefore, the design processes, as well as the
research on technological processes can’t rely solely on changes
made based on the diagnosis of current solutions but must
consider the premises resulting from forecasts and marketing
Technology audit is one of the special forms of internal audit
in an enterprise. It is not required by law and usually does not
have a control function - as in the case of an internal audit defined
by the Public Finance Act. It is a method of assessing an enterprise
in terms of : its technological potential, applied procedures,
and needs. Performing a technology audit must allow determining
the company’s needs in individual areas related to innovations,
a) positioning of the company’s products/markets,
b) technical areas such as: automation, IT, packaging, etc.
c) company functions that require innovative solutions:
efficiency, quality, flexibility, energy consumption, etc.
d) channels of technology transfer to the enterprise, both
used and potential
e) potential for acquiring new technological solutions.
Technology audit is usually carried out by external consultants
working closely with the management and employees of the
audited company. One of the results of the audit should be a report
in which an action plan is formulated, leading to strengthening the
technological position and acquiring the necessary technologies
The effects of the entire analysis of the company’s situation
are included in the final report, which should be as concise and
precise as possible. The document should contain an overview
of the situation, along with directions for the company regarding
future activities. The report should include the following [15,16].
a) An analysis of the company’s market situation. The
report includes the main conclusions along with their
justification and characteristics. It is a mistake to post detailed
analyzes that, on the one hand, could be incomprehensible
for the readers, usually the owners of SMEs, and, on the other
hand, obvious for those who perfectly know the operational
conditions of the company they manage.
b) Most often, the SWOT analysis is used as the main tool for
the overall analysis of the company. The resulting conclusions
should be presented in such a way as to be a kind of guide on
issues relevant to the readers of the report.
c) Technological goals. They should be formulated based
on the analysis of relations between technology and individual
areas of the company’s activity.
d) Directions of activities are an important element of
the report. They form the basis for the discussion between
the company’s management and the consultants on the
interpretation of the results. The directions constitute a
proposal for the management as to solutions related to the
improvement of the company’s situation.
The authors identified 50 enterprises based in the Małopolska
region, which had their potential analyzed with a technology
audit performed by an external entity (a Business Environment
Institution). The research was carried out both on-line, as well
as during site visits and personal meetings with the owner or the
management. Basic organizational and financial information was
prepared by persons delegated by the management/owner of the
enterprise. The target selection was used to select the research
sample, determined by the purpose of the research, i.e. to provide
information on the effectiveness of the innovation processes in
enterprises using the technology audit.
Previously, pilot studies were carried out, which allowed to
prepare a background for the research described in this article
[17,18]. Therefore, the survey was addressed to enterprises from
the SME sector that have carried out the completed technological,
product and process implementations preceded by an audit.
The research drew attention to a change in the situation in the
analyzed enterprises, which resulted from the technology transfer
process. The period preceding the implementation of the project
(n-1) was compared with the period after the implementation of
the innovation process (n+1).
Each time, the initiating stage of the cooperation was an indepth
diagnosis of the organization’s needs and the construction of
a logical matrix defining the purpose of the planned undertaking.
The conducted technology audit was the answer to the following
a) What is the innovative potential of the company?
b) Are your resources enough?
c) What is the organization’s achievements in the area of
know-how and intellectual property protection?
Recommendations from the conducted technology audit
included potential sources of support for technology transfer
processes from public funds. By the decision of the owner or the
management board, after the report was approved, the second
stage of supporting the innovation processes in the organization
was initiated, i.e.
a) obtaining public support for the implementation of the
b) strengthening the cooperation with BEI and R & D
developed at the technology audit stage, handling the process
of national technology transfer
c) managing the transfer of technology in the organization.
Among the surveyed enterprises, 10 implemented national/
international technology transfer when implementing innovations
in their organization, based on audit recommendations (Table 1).
It is also worth noting that 70% of respondents, who are planning
to precede their next innovation with a diagnosis of the innovative
potential in the form of a technology audit also plan to establish
cooperation with an R&D center soon. It might be presumed that
this is the consequence of an increased awareness of applying the
methodological approach to the next innovative process.
Enterprises that take advantage of the technology audit
increase the market efficiency of their business processes by
better matching innovation activities to strategic goals. Being
aware of their innovative potential assessed by an independent
organization, enterprises can choose transfer activities adequate
to their capabilities and own resources. The technology audit, i.e.
assessing the organization’s achievements in the area of knowhow
and intellectual property protection, matches the designed
activities with the employees’ experience, which means that
they can quickly use innovations and incorporate them into the
company’s offers. The effectiveness of innovative processes of
companies taking advantage of the technology audit was confirmed
by quantitative research and in-depth interview. Business
managers strongly emphasized the impact of the technology audit
on the economic decisions made.