Policies to Enhance the 'Hidden' Innovation in Services: Evidences and Lessons from the UK

Abreu, Maria, Grinevich, Vadim, Kitson, Michael and Savona, Maria (2010) Policies to Enhance the 'Hidden' Innovation in Services: Evidences and Lessons from the UK. Service Industries Journal, 30 (1). pp. 99-118. ISSN 0264-2069

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More than 75% of the UK economy is based on services. Knowledge-based services generate more than five times as much value added for the UK economy as advanced manufacturing. Yet, there are persistent gaps in understanding the innovative performance of services. Using Fourth UK Community Innovation Survey (CIS4) data and the results of a detailed case study analysis, this article helps to fill this gap by analysing what innovation in services means and how it can be measured. The traditional indicators of innovation inputs (such as levels of R&D expenditures) and innovation outputs (such as the number of patents) suggest that services are less innovative than other branches of the economy. We take into account a larger spectrum of innovation indicators, both in terms of innovation inputs and outputs, to analyse whether the intensity, nature and economic impact of innovation significantly varies between the manufacturing and service sectors in UK, and between different parts of the services sector such as knowledge-intensive business services and traditional services. The results of the empirical analysis identify the 'hidden parts' of innovation in services, that is, the innovative activities and successful innovative outputs that are traditionally underestimated by the use of metrics based on R&D and patents. We suggest a wide range of policy measures specifically targeted at enhancing innovation in services; the UK service economy needs more focus on learning and the training of personnel, and a new balance of policy to support both R&D and non-R&D innovation activities.

Item Type: Article
Schools and Departments: University of Sussex Business School > SPRU - Science Policy Research Unit
Depositing User: Maria Savona
Date Deposited: 06 Feb 2012 19:15
Last Modified: 05 Jul 2012 13:47
URI: http://sro.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/19788
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