AbstractThis paper aims to examine the influence of innovation on competitive advantage in foods manufacturing SMEs in Malaysia and the moderating effects of firm age on innovation-competitive advantage relationship. Given the correlational nature of research, the researchers adopted a random sampling technique in Malaysian foods manufacturing SMEs. Mailed structured questionnaires were employed for the collected 220 foods manufacturing SMEs. Both descriptive and inferential statistics were used to answer the objectives and hypotheses of the study. Finding of the study revealed that innovation has a strong positive impact on the competitive advantage, in which innovation contributes 73.5 percent variance in competitive advantage. The results indicate that SMEs should invest in innovation to gain competitive advantage. The study also found the moderating effect of firm age on the influence of innovation on competitive advantage. The study suggests a framework for analyzing the impact of innovation on competitive advantage to be applied in other settings of Malaysian SMEs. The findings of this study may be used as a guideline for entrepreneurs to establish network with research organization and universities for innovative activities or program which ultimately may gain competitive advantage in the marketplace. This study contributed to the literature by empirically investigating the effect of innovation on competitive advantage, specifically in foods manufacturing SMEs in Malaysia. Findings and implications of the study are also discussed in this paper
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