By Marjorie Domergue, Jean-Pierre Couderc, Leïla Temri
Innovation is a concept that is widely used, yet poorly defined, despite attempts at formalization. The Oslo Manual constitutes the working reference on the subject, and most surveys on innovation in businesses are developed from prescriptions in this work that, like most works, analyse innovation through the classical typology from the pioneering works of Schumpter that is based on the “nature” of innovation: product and organizational process. In this article, we use a survey conducted on 322 agro-food businesses in the Languedoc-Roussillon region to develop a qualitative typology of innovative businesses. To do this we focus on the nature of innovations brought about and take into account the degree of novelty of these innovations. In this way we distinguish the “major” innovations (novelty for the sector, market, or region), the minor innovations (novelties for the business), and “modernizations” (improvement of existing tools in the business). Then we compare these 3 types of innovative business to non-innovative businesses and identify the determinants of innovation and the financial performances for each. This work allows us to note that the sector, size of the business, its management mode, as well as certain management characteristics, are discriminating factors of the ""radicality"" of innovation and the propensity to innovate. Finally, radicality of innovation seems to have an impact on the growth in turnover.