The aim of this special issue is to attract research that addresses and discusses the emergence, status and outlook for innovation in Latin America embodied in its many aspects and dimensions. The transformational (and disruptive) prowess of globalisation continues to impact nearly every nation on the globe. Industrialised and developing countries in every region are experiencing its effects economically, socially, and politically. While both the public and private sectors have, indeed, allocated greater resources to boost growth (and profitability), in manufacturing, services, and natural resources, sustaining competitive levels of performance is more and more difficult. The recognised solution for countries, industries, and firms is to innovate.
Innovation is impacting every region and functional dimension of the global economy. It is an essential driver of economic productivity, social progress, and ultimately human achievement. Innovation is inextricably tied to success and profit, whether the enterprise is a technological giant like Microsoft or Siemens; a natural resources firm like CVRD or BHP Billiton; a conglomerate like Samsung or GE; or a small or medium-sized global enterprise.
With reference to Latin America, it is the second most entrepreneurial region in the world, according to the World Bank. Its Internet and mobile density are higher than the world average, and the accelerated pace of start-ups - both tech and non-tech based - has been occurring irrespective of economic and political ups and downs in the region. Last year, start-ups in Latin American ballooned to 1,333 and accelerators to 62, with investment approaching $32 million.
Within this context the ecosystem of innovation in Latin America is built upon the interrelationship between three drivers: national policy (although subnational policies are important, as well), facilitating institutions (e.g. science parks, R&D labs, accelerators, incubators), and firm-level innovation. Each continues to shape the competitiveness of countries and regions in the hemisphere, as well.
There is a real challenge to innovation in Latin America in that the level of R&D activity is far below that in the Triad countries (US, Japan, and EU), as well as far below that in Eastern Europe and developing Asia. It would be useful to see some discussion of how Latin American companies and governments can stimulate more R&D – as well as pursuing even greater innovation in business models and practices, as evidenced by the high level of entrepreneurship noted above.
Suitable topics include, but are not limited, to the following:
- Innovation in the structure, organisation and management of the firm
- Product, process, service and business model innovation
- Macro-level economic and regulatory policies that impact innovativeness
- New thinking on innovation in the services sector
- Innovation in HR policies and practices
- Open Innovation
- Innovation in export-oriented small and medium size firms
- How do we measure innovation?
Submission of manuscripts: 31 December, 2017
Notification to authors: 15 March, 2018
Final versions due: 15 May, 2018