Innovation in China

Published on February 19, 2015 Reviewed on November 30, 2016   25 min

Other Talks in the Series: Doing Business in China I

My name is Xiaobai Shen, Senior Lecturer in the University of Edinburgh Business School, and also the convenor of the East Asian research network for ISSTI, The Institute for the Study of Science, Technology, and Innovation. I'm very pleased to be invited to give a talk about innovation
in China, which is my primary research area. Before the talk, I feel it's important to clarify, what do I mean by innovation? We know that we use the term innovation in many contexts. It has become a buzz word. Joseph Schumpeter is considered the first economist who put innovation on the center stage in understanding the economic system. According to him, innovation which involves technological change and entrepreneurship is the key driver of economic growth. However all usage of the notion of innovation now has extended considerably over time. Initially, innovation was conceived in terms of a technological change, technological innovation, including both innovation and product design, but also in production processes. And the notion has been extended to include innovation in business models and services. Today, the notion is no longer limited to characterize technical changes, but also includes organization changes, changes of a wider social, cultural, and institutional elements. Recently, attention is paid not only to innovative firms, but also to broader national and regional innovation systems. For example, sectoral systems of innovation, knowledge institutions, and innovative governance. The way I use the term innovation here is not in a narrow sense of the changes in the technological paradigm, as highlighted, for example, by evolutionary economics. I'd adopt instead a more inclusive view of innovation along the lines prevailing in the UK business schools.