Academic journal article Global Journal of Business Research

A Fuzzy Logic Approach towards Innovation Measurement

Academic journal article Global Journal of Business Research

A Fuzzy Logic Approach towards Innovation Measurement

Article excerpt

ABSTRACT

Innovation is a convened critical factor for firm success in today's economic environment. As academics and practitioners acquire knowledge on innovation, tendencies, points of view and practices arise. Yet measurement approaches meant to help decision makers to evaluate their current innovative position do not follow a main stream, moreover much of the information needed for an accurate evaluation tends to be qualitative or subjective. The objective of the present investigation is to review how Fuzzy Logic is currently dealing with subjective complex data in innovation management approaches, results will turn as implications for further applications in innovation measurement. An examination of new methodologies towards innovation measurement is presented and linked to a systematic review on Fuzzy Logic applications to innovation management. Results convey that there is no ultimate model to address innovation measurement in firms, yet a set of innovation measurement key issues are described in novel frameworks. Fuzzy Logic stands as a viable way to adopt decision-making due to its capacity of dealing with uncertain and subjective conditions. According to results, the use of Fuzzy Logic to evaluate qualitative and subjective factors in innovation measurement is encouraged.

JEL: O320, M100, M420

KEYWORDS: Innovation Measurement, Fuzzy Logic, Uncertainty, Decision Making

INTRODUCTION

Research on the concept of innovation has been evolving since the last decades, currently there is no manager or decision maker that could affirm that innovation does not carry competitiveness, it is in some way a given fact. As Porter (1990) states Companies gain advantage against the world's best competitors because of generating innovations. The results of innovative activities in firms and organizations can range from effects on sales and market share up to the improvement of productivity and efficiency. The significant impacts in the sector of activity are the evolution of international competitiveness and the total productivity of the factors; the knowledge spillovers of innovations produced by enterprises and the growth in the volume of knowledge that flows over the network. Since there is a convened positive impact regarding innovation activities, scholars from diverse expertise address the topic. Gopalakrishnan and Damanpour (1997) identify three main groups of researchers: Economists, whose perspectives centers on growth at industry level and evaluate the impact of radical product and process innovation. Technologists, whose studies center in around the process of generating and improving new technology, with a focus on radical and incremental product process innovations. Sociologists, whose studies mainly focus on the organizational features and the adoption of innovations within firms, and who study technical and administrative product and process innovations. As an effect of such widespread research, there are diverse approaches around the concept of innovation, in some way leading to inconsistencies. Several studies assess this gap by reviewing the evolution of the research on innovation (García and Calantone, 2002; Hansen and Wakonen, 1997; Landry et al., 2002).

Due to the broad range of ways that the concept of innovation can be addressed, there is no definition that covers all the aspects of innovation. The earliest definition of innovation was established by Schumpeter (1934) stating innovation is what we call in a non-scientific way "economic progress", which means in essence the use of productive resources in ways not tested yet in practice, and the retirement of the uses that have had so far. In a market oriented standpoint Drucker (1987) has pointed out that innovation is the tool in which innovative entrepreneur's exploit the change as an opportunity for new, and Kanter (1983) claims that innovation refers to the process of establishing any new idea, which resolves a problem. A broader definition of innovation is established by the UK Department of Trade and Industry's (DTI, 1998) implicating that innovation is the successful exploitation of new ideas. …

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