An International Multi-Level Research Analysis
Edited by Kate Lewis, Colette Henry, Elizabeth J. Gatewood and John Watson
Innovation and entrepreneurship have been recognized as important contributors to the US economy (Audretsch, 2002; Wong et al., 2005). Over recent decades, there have been major waves of innovation in such disparate industries as technology, healthcare, manufacturing, retailing, education and national defense. Some innovations have involved the development of new products and services, while others have occurred in the area of delivery systems and processes. For example, in the area of product innovation, artificial knees and hips have dramatically increased the mobility and longevity of many senior citizens. At the other end of the age spectrum, the iPod has become a regular feature in the ears, hands and book bags of almost every teen and college student. From the standpoint of service, most firms now provide an online service option to supplement or even replace in-store service personnel, enabling goods to be purchased, returned and repaired online. Fast food restaurants are another example of service innovation. Recognizing that working professionals and parents may not have time for a leisurely meal, restaurants such as McDonald’s, D’Angelos and Subway cater to their need for fast service and increasingly healthy choices. One of the most important areas of innovation in recent years has been in the area of delivery systems and processes. These innovations do not necessarily introduce new products or services, but are alternatively geared toward improving the processes for producing and delivering products and services.
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