ENHANCING PRODUCTIVITY OF INNOVATIONS ACROSS CULTURES FOR SINGAPORE
Extant research on innovation in marketing and consumer behavior has largely focused on constructs such as novelty seeking (Hirschman 1980) and consumer creativity (Burroughs and Mick 2004; Moreau and Dahl 2005; Sellier and Dahl 2011), as well as the role of influence in the adoption and diffusion of new and innovative products (Leonard-Barton 1985; Midgley and Dowling 1993; Rogers 1976). Less focus has been given to exploring the impact of cross-cultural dimensions on consumers’ affective, behavioral, and cognitive responses to innovation. Within this domain of behavioral research, cross-cultural comparisons within Asian countries (such as those between India, China, and Singapore) are limited. Nonetheless, significant, novel findings with both important theoretical and managerial implications can be derived from using a cross-cultural lens to view consumer behavior and marketing research in the domain of innovation. This subproject approaches this essential topic from three broad angles, namely, pricing innovation, product innovation, and antecedents of consumer innovativeness.
Firms look to developing economies for expansion, often attracted by their large economies and rapid economic growth. However, the institutional infrastructures such as property rights, distribution system, roads, electricity, etc. that firms and consumers in the developed countries take for granted are either missing or underdeveloped in many emerging economies such as Indonesia or India. This gives rise to what scholars have called “institutional voids”. While most firms take the broader institutional context and local culture as given, firms such as GE in India, Haier in China, or Ciputra in Indonesia act in innovative ways that allow them to add value by either compensating for the institutional voids or by constructing or shaping the external institutional contexts in which they operate. This project seeks to identify examples of product/service-, business system-, and ecosystem innovation in emerging economies; and to understand which type is optimal in which context, how companies recognize certain innovative opportunities, and how they execute them across cultures. We do this through in-depth case studies using two lenses: one firm in multiple institutional contexts, and multiple firms in one institutional context.
Scientific and technological innovations by highly skilled knowledge workers such as scientists and inventors are critical to the long-term economic growth, productivity and innovation of both developed countries such as Singapore and the U.S. and developing countries such as China and India. These highly skilled scientists and inventors tend to be domestically and internationally mobile. Prior studies have documented that these mobile scientists enable the exchange of new ideas and the commercialization of promising scientific and technological innovations, resulting in the formation of new high-technology startups, growth opportunities within entrepreneurial and established science-based firms, and jobs creation. However, many puzzles and research questions centered on the innovative productivity and cultural influence on these highly skilled mobile scientists and inventors remain under-investigated in the literature. This large-scale novel study seeks to investigate the salient questions focusing on the innovative productivity—the rate and importance of patented innovations produced—and cultural influence on these highly skilled mobile scientists and inventors. The findings from this subproject will advance our understanding of the previously underexplored institutional, strategic and cultural factors associated with fully leveraging the benefits of mobility on productivity of innovations, and yield important implications for policy and firm strategy.
Up to this point, most cross-cultural approaches have been developments of dimensions for general purpose cross-cultural understanding. In this project, we will orient ourselves to developing specific cross-cultural dimensions for innovation teams (this is similar to prior attempts to develop leadership theories specific for innovation). Both the development of such scales and the validation will be done within a sophisticated approach to understanding the efficacy of team approaches to innovation.
Although there has been extensive research on cultural values (e.g., collectivism) and their relationship with country-level innovation outcomes (e.g., number of patents), all this research has been correlational in nature. No research to our knowledge has investigated whether cultural values exert a causal impact on creativity and innovation. The goal of this project is to use experiments is to test whether cultural values influence (not just correlated with) creativity and innovation across three countries. The knowledge gained from the experiments would help Singapore identify the strengths and weaknesses of China and India in terms of innovation, so that each country can be targeted for particular types of innovations.