The Innovation Matrix: Culture and Structure Prerequisites to Innovation

The Innovation Matrix: Culture and Structure Prerequisites to Innovation

The Innovation Matrix: Culture and Structure Prerequisites to Innovation

The Innovation Matrix: Culture and Structure Prerequisites to Innovation

Synopsis

Attributes of culture and a nation's structure influence the degree and type of innovation achievable within a society. Routes exist for any nation, regardless of its structural or cultural elements, to achieve innovative success and economic development. Clear, concise prescriptions are given to enable managers and societies to determine those structural aspects of their nation that may need adjustment. Managers of international businesses, research and development, as well as researchers in the fields of strategic management, technology, and public policy, will find this comprehensive book on innovation a valuable asset.

Excerpt

Technology follows culture and culture follows technology. Social changes are imminent from the adoption of any and all new technologies; a certain inertia to change is inherent in all societies, but certain societies are more conservative, risk adverse and resistant to change than others. What are the factors that enable some societies to adapt and change quicker than others? Why does innovation thrive in one country but not another? China invented paper and gunpowder, but it took Western civilization to advance these technologies. Algebra was an Indian invention adopted by the Arabs, which eventually made its way to the West via Spain and the Crusades, but it was the Western world that built upon the mathematics. Why is India not as technologically or economically advanced as Japan, even though the Indian society had the help of the British and had a thriving trade decades before Japan was forced to open its society? Why does Britain, the initiator of the Industrial Revolution, find itself currently a second- rate innovator of technology?

China certainly knew about many of the technological developments in the West from the time of Marco Polo onward yet was not recognizably eager to adopt them until the present century. Even as late as the nineteenth century, she considered the West to be dirty barbarians, with little to be learned from them. The Moslem Middle East was reasonably close via the Mediterranean throughout the entire period when the West was developing technologically and economically, yet very little of Western methods managed to diffuse by trade to them. By contrast, Japan, which only opened its borders a scant hundred years ago, absorbed technological advances at an astounding rate and now competes favorably (some may say superiorly) against that very same West.

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