Introduction to Innovation

  • Nobuaki MatsunagaEmail author
Part of the Kobe University Monograph Series in Social Science Research book series (KUMSSSR)


It is frequently claimed that innovation is the key to economic development. However, the term ‘innovation’ has been used for a variety of meanings by different researchers, let alone by ordinary people. We therefore start in this chapter to clarify ‘innovation’ by introducing theories of innovation (Schumpeter, Drucker and the Oslo Manual ), then illustrate innovations for developing countries (inclusive innovations, reverse innovations and learning innovations), and finally discuss current conditions of innovations in developing countries (the Innovation Paradox , and the concluding remarks). Innovation is critically important for developing economies as well as developed ones. The relevant types of innovations, however, are different between these economies: rich countries need to seek leading-edge innovations new to the world, while poor countries should learn existing technology to catch up with the best practice for rapid economic development. We call such ‘leniently’ defined innovations for poor countries ‘learning innovations’ and investigate their determinants and/or impacts on firm performance in Vietnam and Laos in the subsequent chapters. This chapter provides the foundation to better understand this book.


Schumpeter Drucker The Oslo Manual Inclusive innovations Reverse innovations Learning innovations The innovation paradox Vietnam Laos 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Kobe UniversityKobeJapan

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