knowledge breadth, knowledge depth, integrative thinking, innovation, SMEs


This study investigates entrepreneurs’ individual characteristics in terms of knowledge and thinking skills to better understand the role of these traits in innovation. We use interpretative phenomenological analysis (IPA) to attain deeper insights about entrepreneurs’ cognitive processes and innovation. We propose that knowledge breadth plays an enhancing role in the relationship between an entrepreneur’s knowledge depth and firm innovation. In return, innovation at a firm level is shown to be affected by an entrepreneur’s integrative thinking ability. Implications for practice and future research are discussed.