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Social and Business Innovations: Are Common Measurement Approaches Possible?

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  • Attila Havas

    (Centre for Economic and Regional Studies, Institute of Economics, Hungarian Academy of Sciences)

Abstract

This article reviews various approaches to measuring business innovation with the aim of drawing lessons for measuring social innovations, and offers several methodological and policy conclusions. First, Innovation Union Scoreboard (IUS) indicators, in principle, could be useful in settings where the dominant mode of innovation is based on R&D activities. In practice, however, both R&D and non-R&D-based modes of innovation are important. IUS, therefore, only provides a partial picture. Social innovations can essentially rely on R&D-based technological innovations; their essence, however, tends to be essentially organizational, managerial, and behavioural modifications. The IUS indicators do not capture these types of changes. Second, an assessment of the 81 indicators used to compile the Global Innovation Index reveals that it would not be fruitful to rely on such indicators to capture social innovations. Third, given the diversity among innovation systems, a poor performance signalled by a composite indicator does not automatically identify the area(s) necessitating the most urgent policy actions; only tailored, thorough comparative analyses can do so. Finally, analysts and policy makers need to be aware of the differences between measuring (i) social innovation activities (or efforts); (ii) the framework for social innovations (pre-requisites, available inputs, skills, norms, values, behavioural patterns, etc.); and (iii) the economic, societal, and environmental impacts of social innovations.

Suggested Citation

  • Attila Havas, 2016. "Social and Business Innovations: Are Common Measurement Approaches Possible?," Foresight and STI Governance (Foresight-Russia till No. 3/2015), National Research University Higher School of Economics, vol. 10(2), pages 58-80.
  • Handle: RePEc:hig:fsight:v:10:y:2016:i:2:p:58-80
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    Cited by:

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    2. Aija Medne & Inga Lapina, 2019. "Sustainability and Continuous Improvement of Organization: Review of Process-Oriented Performance Indicators," Journal of Open Innovation: Technology, Market, and Complexity, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 5(3), pages 1-14, July.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Evolutionary economics of innovation; business innovation; social innovation; measurement of innovation; composite indicators; scoreboards; league tables; unit of analysis;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • C80 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Data Collection and Data Estimation Methodology; Computer Programs - - - General
    • O31 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Innovation and Invention: Processes and Incentives
    • O39 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Other
    • Y10 - Miscellaneous Categories - - Data: Tables and Charts - - - Data: Tables and Charts

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