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Innovation, defined as the commercialization of a novel idea, product, or process, emerged as the desirable path towards the development of firms and societies alike. Building on the policies of the 1960s that emphasized human capital investment and consequently the upgrade of skills and knowledge (for firms and societies), in the 1980s the emphasis of development policies shifted towards a focus on innovation. This emphasis on innovation, while still recognizing knowledge and skills as important foundations for development, highlights innovation's added advantages of pioneering new sectors, ownership of novel capacity, and seizing of market opportunities. The underlying assumption is that innovation is a tool for social development. Moreover, this assumption is immersed in the logics of market and competition, thus defining innovation is a marketized activity. With the globalization of markets and competition, innovation is now conceived as a global institution and innovation took a central place among the components of the rapidly expanding global knowledge economy. Indeed, much like the evolution of globalization discussions in general – from international to transnational to global frames – current discussions of innovation can be categorized into a focus on interconnected national systems of innovation, transnational innovative firms, and the global innovation divide.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Wiley-Blackwell Encyclopedia of Globalization
EditorsGeorge Ritzer
PublisherJohn Wiley & Sons Ltd.
ISBN (Electronic)978047067059
ISBN (Print)9781405188241
StatePublished - 2012


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