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Track 5.3 - Company Innovation Management in Emerging Countries: multiple challenges for corporate governance

Ruy QUADROS, Prof., Science and Technology Policy Programme, IG/UNICAMP, Brazil 
Dirk MEISSNER, Prof., Higher School of Economics, National Research University, Moscow

Track's Contacts : 


Emerging country firms have considerably heightened their profile in the global innovation landscape. On the one hand, this is to generate growth and globalize firms originating from such counties. On the other hand, foreign multinational corporations (MNC) have also contributed to this process, by enlarging innovation mandates and increasing R&D and innovation activities in subsidiaries located in such countries.

Such changes have required the building of substantial technological capabilities, but this is not the entire picture. In order to move up from production capabilities to advanced innovation capabilities as basis for competitive strategy and growth, firms in emerging economies need to undergo a process of organizational change which is an enabling factor for dealing with systemic innovation processes which accounts for state of the art processes employed already by other companies but still goes beyond. The change of business firms’ strategic focus from the sole operational excellence required from imitators to the cross-functional learning and creativity required from innovators is a process of transformation of their own organizational architecture: governance, strategies, structures, decision-making processes and management routines.

Moreover, the organizational change challenge has to be undertaken in an open innovation environment, in which innovation requires capabilities for collaboration and networking from firms, research institutions and customers. Furthermore, as digital transformation is a global phenomenon which affects most business sectors in all industrialized economies, emerging country firms and institutions willing to become innovators need to address the challenge of innovating new digital services and new business models.

The World Bank study on the “Innovation Paradox” argues that an important obstacle to developing countries’ innovation and technological catching up lies on their lack of managerial capabilities, which are an essential complement to investment on R&D and innovation activities. Yet, while there has been substantial research on innovation capabilities and technological catching up in emerging country firms, concern with the challenges they face in developing innovation management and related organizational skill s have received little attention.

The proposed Special Track aims at addressing the above mentioned gaps, by calling papers which would bring about empirical and theoretical research focused on distinctive aspects of innovation management capabilities in emerging country firms and institutions. This could comprise, on the one hand, elements which are rather "internal" to business firms and public institutions, such as the diffusion of particular innovation management and organizational practices, or the challenge of changing culture and allowing for more ambitious innovation strategies or even the difficulties arising with the need to innovate new business models based on digital platforms. Papers also could address elements of emerging country firms and institutions' experience with open innovation, such as the particular nature of industry-university collaboration in emerging economies, or the challenge of creating entrepreneurial universities in this context or even the challenge of governing corporative engagement with start-ups. Furthermore we encourage papers which look at recent innovation management paradigms such as co-creation for innovation and the meaning of digital tools for the organization and steering of the innovation process and research teams.