Research Handbook on Innovation Governance for Emerging Economies
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Research Handbook on Innovation Governance for Emerging Economies

Towards Better Models

Edited by Stefan Kuhlmann and Gonzalo Ordóñez-Matamoros

Although in recent years some emerging economies have improved their performance in terms of R & D investment, outputs and innovative capacity, these countries are still blighted by extreme poverty, inequality and social exclusion. Hence, emerging countries are exposed to conditions which differ quite substantially from the dominant OECD model of innovation policy for development and welfare. This Research Handbook contributes to the debate by looking at how innovation theory, policy and practice interact, and explains different types of configurations in countries that are characterized by two contrasting but mutually reinforcing features: systemic failure and resourcefulness. Focusing on innovation governance and public policies, it aims to understand related governance failures and to explore options for alternative, more efficient approaches.
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Chapter 14: Inclusive innovation in small producers’ clusters in Vietnam: policy implications from grounded theory

Jaap Voeten

Abstract

Innovation is increasingly acknowledged as essential for economic growth in developing countries. However, do current formal science, technology and innovation (STI)-based policy approaches involve the right assumptions and provide the appropriate models for such contexts? In some places the informal institutions play an important role in exerting the functions of an innovation system as well. Empirical evidence from small business clusters in northern Vietnam show how informal institutions provide an enabling environment for innovation. The evidence suggests a more complementary role for innovation policy in supporting the informal institutional context, rather than overruling or replacing it by formal STI institutions. Moreover, the innovation manifestations in the research cases implied negative environmental and social externalities. The proposed concept of ‘inclusive innovation’, modelled as a societal process, refers to small producers initiating and owning the innovation process, appropriating the created value and acknowledging responsibility for the negative externalities. The study suggests that policy for ‘inclusive innovation’ in the context of these small producers’ clusters should focus on facilitating the dynamics of the societal process by monitoring and safeguarding the quality of the societal process.

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