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Chapter Summary


In this chapter we have reviewed how innovation and entrepreneurship contribute to personal, economic and social success. Traditional measures of technological innovation such as R&D spending and number of patents granted are associated with economic growth at the national level and in some sectors, but are not predictive across most sectors and are not good indicators at the firm or individual level. Broader indicators of innovation, such as proportion of earnings from new products and degree of differentiation are more general and stronger drivers of economic success. More fundamentally, process, organisational and managerial innovations are more likely to result in economic and social benefits. Moreover, the adoption of innovations can have a far greater impact than the generation of innovations. Innovation can occur in all elements of a business model to create and capture value. High growth new ventures contribute disproportionately to economic growth and employment, but these ‘gazelles’ are rare. The growth of a new venture is very sensitive to the founding conditions, and the combination of a small number of factors is a very strong predictor of success: the age, number, experience and education of founders; access to adequate capital; and an explicit strategy of differentiation and intent to grow.


Discussion Questions



What are the relationships between R&D spending, patents and economic performance?

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