A Multi-disciplinary Perspective
Edited by Faïz Gallouj and Faridah Djellal
Xavier Vence and Alexandre Trigo 23.1 Introduction The overdue attention to innovation in services could be attributed to the traditional disregard for services in general and the widespread assumption about their potential lack of innovative capacity, being considered just users of the innovation produced by the manufacturing activities (Pavitt, 1984; Barras, 1986; Evangelista, 2000). In short, services did not receive due credit for being innovative, to a certain extent, because of both their low research and development (R&D) intensity and patent application (Miles and Boden, 2000; Salter and Tether, 2006). Maybe the situation is also attributable to the traditional reluctance of economics against the analysis of nonprofit innovation, just when the public sector was responsible for most important service activities. However, when examples of innovation in services such as telecommunications, computer activities and logistics became better known, researchers recognized some services as having innovative characteristics. Maybe the wave of public service privatization around the world has contributed to attracting the attention of economists, providing conditions for an easier application of a ‘market conceptual toolkit’ of economic analysis. Nowadays, services have become a topic under the focus of the community of scholars dealing with innovation issues (Gallouj, 2002a, 2002b, 2007; Miles, 2001, 2005; Salter and Tether, 2006). But an understanding of innovation in most of the service activities has required much greater focus and study, as well as a reconsideration of previously held concepts about innovation (Miles and Tether, 2003; Foray, 2004). The attempt to recognize the innovative character of...
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