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Innovation typology in tourism

Manual is that surveys follow similar methods, in order to improve international comparability. The Oslo Manual emphasizes that the level of the firm is the most appropriate, if the purpose is to gather data on both the production and the acquisition of knowledge. Information collected at the level of firms can afterwards be related to industry’s characteristics. Furthermore, the Manual suggests collecting data about organizations that generate innovations and those that acquire them. Consequently, not only organizations with high levels of innovation production are taken into account. Also organizations that innovate through the acquisition of embedded knowledge are regarded.

The Community Innovation Survey is based on the “subject” approach as well. The CIS compares innovation data between EU-countries. It has been carried out four times and includes relevant aspects related to interaction and learning. The CIS collects data about expenditures on innovation activities, outputs of innovative products, sources of information, technological collaboration, and perceptions of barriers to innovation and factors enhancing it (Smith 2005).

In contrast, surveys based on the “object” approach collect information about individual innovations. They usually cover innovations that are technologically significant and/or provide economic outcome (Archibugi and Pianta 1996). Data is habitually collected through the consultation of experts or the review of literature (Smith 2005). Surveys that follow the “object” approach are very useful for specific case studies, since they can be adapted to the objectives of the analysis. Thus, experts may apply a specific approach to innovation in the survey. However, this characteristic makes difficult comparability between surveys. Therefore, such surveys are in most cases limited to the case studied.

Another disadvantage of surveys based on the “object” approach is that they rarely gather information about all existent innovations. Surveys are conditioned by the literature and/or experts consulted. Nevertheless, additional information of each innovation tends to be more detailed than in other type of studies.

Since information in such surveys is limited to significant innovations, which are new to an industry, a country or globally new, they generally do not report information on incremental changes.

The research carried out by Pavitt (1984) has similar characteristics with the “object” approach. He develops a taxonomy and a sectoral theory based on data collected about 2000 significant innovations and innovating firms in Britain form 1945 to 1979. Significant innovations were identified by external experts, independent from innovating firms. In the analysis of data, Pavitt solves some of the limitations that can have surveys based on the “object” approach. For instance, he indicates that incremental innovations are not measured in the study because these processes are already included in significant innovations. Furthermore, consulted experts do not only identified the most important innovations, but also which type of institution provided the most important knowledge inputs to each innovation. Besides, innovations are classified according to the sectors of production and use as well as the sector of the innovating firm’s principal activity. Consequently, the applied methodology makes able to identify the sectors that produce more innovations and those who acquire them. Moreover, the institutional sources and the nature of technology are identified. The


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