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The Importance of Man Within the System: Defining and Measuring the Human Factor in Innovation, a Review

George Martinidis ()
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George Martinidis: Aristotle University of Thessaloniki

Journal of the Knowledge Economy, 2017, vol. 8, issue 2, 638-652

Abstract: Abstract Innovation, in the modern sense, is a complex process that depends on a whole system involving a wide range of factors. Yet, it remains an inherently human endeavour, with human capital in its centre. Major benchmarking indices define and measure the human factor in innovation in terms of education, but often do so in a superficial way because of a lack of data or methodological restrictions. In addition, they tend to disregard the other important human dimension of innovation: culture. Innovation culture refers to values, attitudes and behaviours that can be vital for innovation output but are even more difficult to define and measure than education. Despite these difficulties, the need to effectively understand and assess the impact of human factor on innovation, through both culture and education, is extremely important in order to reinforce the innovation capacity of countries or regions and thereby increase competitiveness and economic growth worldwide. The article provides some rough suggestions, based on the review, about creating a new index that might complement existing ones by assessing culture and education in greater depth.

Keywords: Innovation; Human capital; Innovation indices; Innovation culture; Innovation climate (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2017
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Handle: RePEc:spr:jknowl:v:8:y:2017:i:2:d:10.1007_s13132-016-0406-4