New Horizons in International Business series
Edited by John R. McIntyre, Silvester Ivanaj, Vera Ivanaj and Rabi N. Kar
Chapter 1: The role of multinational enterprises in promoting system-level innovations in the Finnish food industry
Systemic change is a highly topical issue, both in Finland and internationally. Advancing sustainable development and dealing with structural transformations in the Finnish economy are currently great challenges for Finnish policy-makers. Systemic, or system, innovation refers to large-scale transformation that concerns structures, operational models and their interactions that provide preconditions for activities such as sustainable development and opening up of business opportunities in global markets (Valovirta et al., 2011). System innovations go beyond a single organization and are qualitative innovations that are realized by a variety of participants within the system and that fundamentally change both the structure of the system and the relationships among participants. It is within these systemic innovations that innovations at the individual level occur in terms of product, process and project. Innovations are new or improved products, services or processes that provide solutions to meet market needs (Tidd et al., 2001; Bessant et al., 2005).