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Over the years, data unavailability has limited the empirical analysis of the relationship between innovation and firm growth, leading to the partial understanding of this relationship in low-income countries. This chapter fills these gaps by using a unique firm-level data to estimate the effect of technological and non-technological innovations on firm productivity in Ghana. The econometric estimations show innovation as an important determinant of labour productivity, for both formal and informal firms. Our results also suggest that technological innovation leads to higher labour productivity than non-technological innovation. New policy thinking and policies are needed to recognize, support and enhance the innovation activities in both formal and informal firms, by mitigating critical constraints such as financial and labour skill constraints formal and informal firms both face.
There is a growing recognition that African firms are innovating and these innovations are important to African economies. This chapter provides a general introduction to the book by introducing the broad objectives, the research design and methods as well as the research questions tackled in each of the subsequent chapters of the book. In addition, the chapter presents the structure of the book and summarizes the major findings in each chapter.
This chapter analyses how the gender of the entrepreneur is associated with firm-level innovation performance, both directly and in conjunction with other firm and manager attributes. Using a unique survey data set collected in 2013 from the DILIC project in Ghana, and formulating a two-stage model, the chapter examines if gender differences exist in firm-level innovation activities in Ghana. Our analyses show significant differences in innovation behaviour between women’s and men’s firms, suggesting that women are less likely to introduce technological and new-to-market innovations, and also sell less of innovative products. However, the results show that women are more active in adopting non-technological, especially marketing, innovation. For policy, the chapter offers new insights into gender differences, and the role of informal firms in the innovation system of Ghana, and suggests that there is a need for new policy redirection towards informality on the one hand and the need for specific institutional arrangements to address this gender gap on the other hand.
Using qualitative case study, and unique firm-level survey data in Ghana and Tanzania collected between 2013 and 2015, this chapter analyses the nature and the sources of innovation in both formal and informal sectors. Also, the chapter explores the learning processes underlying innovations as well the various institutional constraints underlying these innovations in Ghana and Tanzania. Our analyses reveal that innovation occurs just about anywhere in Ghana and Tanzania, and innovation is widespread across all sectors, including formal and informal sectors. Our results also show that firms engage in multiple incremental innovations at the same time, enabling firms to gain complementary effects. Knowledge spillover, imitation and adaptation were identified as the main mechanisms through which knowledge is transferred for innovation activities in Ghana and Tanzania.
Using survey data collected in 2013, and multivariate probit estimation, this chapter examines the effect of ICT on innovation performance of manufacturing firms in Ghana. The estimation results suggest that ICT not only leads to a higher likelihood of firms to innovate but also directly enhances the growth of sales in new innovative products. In particular, our results show that the internet serves as the most important source of information, enabling local firms to transcend borders and integrate and take advantage of existing and developed infrastructure existing elsewhere for local innovation activities. The results suggest that knowledge is now a click away and policy must encourage firms to participate and take advantage of the knowledge economy by engaging and interacting with frontier firms.
Foreign knowledge and technology enhance the technological capability of local firms. Foreign direct investment (FDI) and Multinational enterprises (MNEs) are key channels through which foreign knowledge flows and is transferred. This chapter reviews different types of foreign knowledge sources and the factors that ensure success in the adaption of foreign know-how to the local context. The results show that formal firms tend to have higher local technological capability are more likely to adopt and adapt foreign knowledge and technologies. Interaction with foreign firms through imports and collaboration are important sources of knowledge. The managerial localisation strategies in Chinese firms is also identified in our case study to offer an essential learning potential for local firms.
Welfare conditionality, and the underlying understanding of unemployment because of lack of motivation, has been widely criticized. This article analyses if and how more co-created services can be a pathway to address some of these challenges. As Denmark currently is moving towards a softening of welfare conditionality for the vulnerable unemployed, and local authorities try to develop models ‘in between’ welfare conditionality and genuine user involvement, this constitute a good case for analysing this question. The analysis build on comprehensive ethnographic data from a four-year research- and innovation project in six Danish municipalities. The employment services in the project have tried to design new strategies involving clients in the development and implementation of services. Among other things, this includes developing integrated services, qualifying the meeting and the talk between front-line workers and clients, engaging the employer side and NGO’s outside the public services and promoting other measures to ensure real involvement of the citizens in the processes. The analysis lists some of the potentials and pitfalls in these innovative processes and reflects upon the feasibility of such new type of co-created services.
Extant literature remains inconclusive with regard to optimal structural designs for sustaining effective knowledge flows, boosting innovativeness, and achieving superior performance in organizations. We contribute to the ongoing debate on formal, informal, and ambidextrous configurations in the specific context of small high-tech innovators. Adopting an inductive approach to theory building, we explore the factors that account for the variation in knowledge-focused designs across sample firms. In our study, innovative ventures rely on pure formal and informal organizational designs but also attempt to mix both, suggesting that gains from ambidexterity are not ubiquitous. Our analysis unveils that the pursuit of a given structural configuration results from a set of operating contingencies and a deliberate managerial effort to align firm idiosyncrasies with desired strategic outcomes. We advance a grounded theory of knowledge-focused organizational design in small high-tech innovators and formulate propositions that may be tested in future inquiries in the field.
Investigating the nature, drivers and sources of innovation in Africa, this book examines the channels for effective diffusion of innovation in and to Africa under institutional, resource and affordability constraints. Fu draws on almost a decade of research on innovation in Africa to explore these issues and unpack the process, combining a rigorous statistical analysis of a purposely designed multi-wave, multi-country survey with in-depth studies of representative cases. Building on this research, Fu argues that African firms are innovative but unsupported. Those 'under-the-radar' innovations that widely exist in Africa as a result of the constraints are not sufficient to enable Africa to leapfrog the innovation gap in the era of the fourth Industrial Revolution. This is the first comprehensive analysis of the creation and diffusion of innovation in low income countries. It also provides the first survey-based analysis of innovation in the informal economy.
For more than sixty years, “obviousness” has set the bar for patentability. Under this standard, if a hypothetical “person having ordinary skill in the art” would find an invention obvious in light of existing relevant information, then the invention cannot be patented. This skilled person is defined as a non-innovative worker with a limited knowledge-base. The more creative and informed the skilled person, the more likely an invention will be considered obvious. The standard has evolved since its introduction, and it is now on the verge of an evolutionary leap: inventive algorithms are increasingly being used in research, and once the use of such algorithms becomes standard, the person skilled in the art should be a person augmented by algorithm, or just an inventive algorithm. Unlike the skilled person, the inventive algorithm is capable of innovation and considering the entire universe of prior art. As inventive algorithms continue to improve, this will increasingly raise the bar to patentability, eventually rendering innovative activities obvious. The end of obviousness means the end of patents, at least as they are now.
This chapter first provides a framework for understanding recent local government approaches to aligning Uber and Lyft operations with urban transportation policy goals—including improving street safety, improving transportation access, and reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Many of these approaches to setting policy and designing streets are not regulatory per se, though they can and have been used as de facto regulatory strategies. This “implicit” regulatory approach has arisen in part because most local governments in the U.S. lack the formal authority to regulate Uber and Lyft. Furthermore, most local governments also lack the data necessary to develop and/or enforce appropriate regulations of the app-enabled for-hire vehicle industry.
The chapter continues with a case study of how the San Francisco County Transportation Authority, in partnership with researchers at Northeastern University, developed a creative and partnership-driven approach to policy-making in the face of a severe data deficit. Agency staff and University researchers scraped data from the Uber and Lyft application programming interfaces and used those data to better understand how people move in San Francisco County. This work demonstrates the importance of innovative, goal-oriented problem-solving approaches to inform the regulation of increasingly complex city streets.
This introductory chapter introduces, first, the concept of bioethical expertise. It discusses the context of its emergence, its specificities as well as its special authority in policymaking.
Second, it presents the book’s argument, detailing both how the mobilisation of bioethical expertise plays out in the governance of scientific and technological innovation, and the way such expertise is produced, at the junction of the expert and the political spheres.
Third, the chapter introduces the conceptual framework of the book, making the case in particular that different logics of iteration characterise the relationship between experts, policymakers and other governance actors, acting as stabilisation mechanisms between knowledge and politics. Finally, the implications of the book are discussed, in relation to broader debates on the nature of expertise, its role in policy and the relationship between knowledge and politics.
The frameworks used by Health Technology Assessment (HTA) agencies for value assessment of medicines aim to optimize healthcare resource allocation. However, they may not be effective at capturing the value of antimicrobial drugs.
To analyze stakeholder perceptions regarding how antimicrobials are assessed for value for reimbursement purposes and how the Australian HTA framework accommodates the unique attributes of antimicrobials in cost-effectiveness evaluation.
Eighteen individuals representing the pharmaceutical industry or policy-makers were interviewed. Interviews were transcribed verbatim, coded, and thematically analyzed.
Key emergent themes were that reimbursement decision-making should consider the antibiotic spectrum when assessing value, risk of shortages, the impact of procurement processes on low-priced comparators, and the need for methodological transparency when antimicrobials are incorporated into the economic evaluation of other treatments.
Participants agreed that the current HTA framework for antimicrobial value assessment is inadequate to properly inform funding decisions, as the contemporary definition of cost-effectiveness fails to explicitly incorporate the risk of future resistance. Policy-makers were uncertain about how to incorporate future resistance into economic evaluations without a systematic method to capture costs avoided due to good stewardship. Lacking financial reward for the benefits of narrower-spectrum antimicrobials, companies will likely focus on developing broad-spectrum agents with wider potential use. The perceived risks of shortages have influenced the funding of generic antimicrobials in Australia, with policy-makers suggesting a willingness to pay more for assured supply. Although antibiotics often underpin the effectiveness of other medicines, it is unclear how this is incorporated into economic models.
Littoz-Monnet provides a fresh analysis of the enmeshment of expert knowledge with politics in global governance, through a unique investigation of bioethical expertise, an intriguing form of 'expert knowledge' which claims authority in the ethical analysis of issues that arise in relation to biomedicine, the life sciences and new fields of technological innovation. She makes the case that the mobilisation of ethics experts does not always arise from a motivation to rationalise governance. Instead, mobilising ethics experts - who are endowed with a unique double-edged authority, both 'democratic' and 'epistemic' - can help policy-makers manoeuvre policy conflicts on scientific and technological innovations and make their pro-science and innovation agendas possible. Bioethical expertise is indeed shaped in a political and iterative space between experts and those who do policy. The book reveals the mechanisms through which certain global governance narratives, as well as the types of expertise they rely on, remain stable even when they are contested.
In this chapter, we highlight the strategic capabilities that have enabled six Brazilian companies to achieve competitive advantage. We selected firms from different industries and stages of internationalization in order to show a broad perspective of local and international successful firms. WEG and Fanen developed technological capabilities associated to both world-class manufacturing and product innovation, whereas Stefanini and Integration have consolidated knowledge about servicing emerging markets. Grendene’s production and operations are its key capabilities for international operations through exports, while innovative design and processes support their strategy in the local markets. The key capabilities of Dr.Consulta are entrepreneurship and innovation. In sum, due to highly turbulent institutional and economic environment, Brazilian firms have had to develop some specific capabilities, especially those related to financial management and organizational flexibility.
This essay looks at the innovations in poetry and poetry publishing from 2001 to 2018, with a particular emphasis on the emerging generation of Indigenous poets like Sherwin Bitsui, Orlando White, Natalie Diaz, and Layli Long Soldier. While paying close attention to the themes and motifs that have been of interest to Native writers, this essay foregrounds innovations in poetic form, including erasures and strikethroughs, complicated syntax, and typographical experimentation. A good deal of recent Native poetry takes on English and its rules and structures as a tool of colonization, repression, identification, and misinformation, and in so doing, seeks to remake English so that it might be viewed through an Indigenous lens.
The disruptive power of technological innovation is one of the defining features of modern life. The presidential nomination process is no exception. Changes in communication technology have profoundly shaped how presidential candidates conduct their campaigns. First radio, then television, and more recently the internet have successively emerged as essential tools for effective political communication. A presidential candidate cannot compete without embracing the new communication technologies of the day. But the adoption of new technology has relentlessly increased campaign costs for more than a century. This chapter examines how technology has shaped the presidential nomination process, making the pursuit of the White House an ever more expensive proposition.
We explore R&D subsidies in a hybrid growth model which may exhibit semi-endogenous growth or fully endogenous growth. We consider two types of subsidies on variety-expanding innovation and quality-improving innovation. R&D subsidies on quality-improving innovation only have effects in the fully endogenous-growth regime, in which more subsidies cause an earlier activation of quality-improving innovation and increase the transitional/steady-state growth rate. R&D subsidies on variety-expanding innovation have contrasting effects in the two regimes. In the semi-endogenous-growth regime, more subsidies on variety-expanding innovation increase transitional growth but have no effect on steady-state growth. In the fully endogenous-growth regime, more subsidies on variety-expanding innovation continue to increase short-run growth but delay the activation of quality-improving innovation and reduce long-run growth. Increasing subsidies on variety-expanding (quality-improving) innovation makes the semi-endogenous-growth (fully endogenous-growth) regime more likely to emerge. Finally, we calibrate the model and find that under reasonable parameter values, the fully endogenous-growth regime is more likely to emerge.
The popular image of the Sahara Desert as something unchanging through time (oases with wells and palm-trees, interconnected by caravans of dromedaries and Tuareg Bedouins) is obviously contradicted by the evidence coming from the archaeological discoveries, and a long-term (and rather slow) process of technological change can be outlined – albeit in need of additional and more precise information. Local innovations, originating in the (Central) Saharan area itself are by no means to be underestimated. Also stimuli coming from the Mediterranean area and from the Nile valley prove quite important (also in the realm of socio-political organisation). However, several innovations in the basic realms of agriculture, animal husbandry and irrigation technology appear to have originated in the East Arabian area (Oman and surrounding countries), and to have been adopted in the Central Sahara only later, in some cases much later. The entire desert belt – from the Gulf area to the Atlantic shores – functioned as a kind of corridor for the east to west transfer of technologies especially appropriate to the hyper-arid climate.