Government policies aimed at encouraging innovation in manufacturing may be doomed to failure unless companies learn to take more risks, according to academic research.
An unpublished study of more than 700 manufacturers in 17 countries found no correlation between the degree of innovation at each company and the countries in which the specific companies were based.
The academics conclude that businesses’ corporate culture, driven by senior executives, is the key to success or failure, rather than external factors such as government policies in any particular nation. The countries covered in the study include the UK, US, Germany, India, Italy, China and Australia.
A strategy based on altering internal culture, the study says, is likely to “bear more fruit than one that relies on government to invest in or protect markets”. It says: “The appeal for government relief and intervention by firms [over such areas as financial support for product development] may well be a cover for cultural deficiencies in their organisations that they have hitherto overlooked.”
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