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Skills required for innovation: A review of the literature

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  • Petr Hanel

    () (CIRST, GREDI, Faculte d'administration, Université de Sherbrooke)

Abstract

This review of the innovation literature seeks to identify the role of skilled labor in the process of innovation and technological change. After an introduction of main innovation theories, the role of skills is analyzed from several perspectives: (1) Independent innovator – entrepreneur; skills deployed and needed; the role of education (2)Firm –the contribution of skilled labor to innovation from within the firm and from external sources. (3) Regional systems of innovation - Endowment of regions and cities in human resources, regional/local labour markets and knowledge spillovers (4) National systems of Innovation- national institutions and policies regarding human resources, labour markets, education system and various aspects of economic and technological infrastructure. (5) Technological milieu. - skilled labor involved in innovation evolves in various environments such as scientific, technical and trade associations, formal and informal contacts. (6) Scientific base.- The role of industry-university and public-private research collaboration in innovation. (7) Is innovation skill-biased?. The second part of the study looks at findings of recent studies of innovation and technology adoption in Canadian manufacturing and services with regard to skilled labor. Also addressed is the impact of innovation on skills. The shortage of skilled labor is widely recognised as an obstacle to innovation and adoption new technologies, especially by firms that introduce the most original innovations and the most advanced technologies. Overall, the innovation literature offers little in terms of concrete general information on particular skills needed for successful innovation. The paper concludes with a critical assessment of shortcomings of innovation and related surveys with regard to information on skilled labor and its role in innovation and technology adoption.

Suggested Citation

  • Petr Hanel, 2007. "Skills required for innovation: A review of the literature," Cahiers de recherche 07-23, Departement d'Economique de l'École de gestion à l'Université de Sherbrooke.
  • Handle: RePEc:shr:wpaper:07-23
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    File URL: http://gredi.recherche.usherbrooke.ca/wpapers/GREDI-0723.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Petr Hanel, 2004. "Innovation in the Canadian Service Sector," Cahiers de recherche 04-03, Departement d'Economique de l'École de gestion à l'Université de Sherbrooke.
    2. Baldwin, John R. & Gu, Wulong, 2004. "Innovation, Survival and Performance of Canadian Manufacturing Plants," Economic Analysis (EA) Research Paper Series 2004022e, Statistics Canada, Analytical Studies Branch.
    3. Acs, Zoltan J & Audretsch, David B, 1988. "Innovation in Large and Small Firms: An Empirical Analysis," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 78(4), pages 678-690, September.
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    7. Lipsey, Richard G. & Carlaw, Kenneth I. & Bekar, Clifford T., 2005. "Economic Transformations: General Purpose Technologies and Long-Term Economic Growth," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780199290895.
    8. Rachel Griffith & Elena Huergo & Jacques Mairesse & Bettina Peters, 2006. "Innovation and Productivity Across Four European Countries," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 22(4), pages 483-498, Winter.
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    12. Jean-Philippe Cotis, 2006. "Benchmarking Canada's Economic Performance," International Productivity Monitor, Centre for the Study of Living Standards, vol. 13, pages 3-20, Fall.
    13. David Card & John E. DiNardo, 2002. "Skill-Biased Technological Change and Rising Wage Inequality: Some Problems and Puzzles," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 20(4), pages 733-783, October.
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    15. Levy, Frank & Murnane, Richard J, 1996. "With What Skills Are Computers a Complement?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(2), pages 258-262, May.
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    Cited by:

    1. Meng, Rüdiger, 2009. "Standort und Innovation - Innovationsaktivitäten und Forschungskooperationen von Unternehmen aus regionaler Perspektive," Arbeitsmaterial der ARL: Aufsätze,in: Innovationen im Raum - Raum für Innovationen: 11. Junges Forum der ARL, 21. bis 23. Mai 2008 in Berlin, pages 40-52 Akademie für Raumforschung und Landesplanung (ARL) - Leibniz-Forum für Raumwissenschaften.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Innovation; skills; national innovation systems; labour market; education of innovation; effect of innovation on skills;

    JEL classification:

    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity
    • J44 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Particular Labor Markets - - - Professional Labor Markets and Occupations
    • L6 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Manufacturing
    • L8 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Services

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