The purpose is to investigate the generalizability of an innovation prowess framework, developed for firms in developed countries, for firms in emerging economies facing tight regulatory regimes. Using a qualitative approach we investigate key informants in six firms, supported by secondary documents and the business press, as well as in-depth organizational observation within one organization. Academic evidence suggests there are four factors–one external (industry structure) and three internal (economic structure of the firm, organizational structure of the firm, and historical development of the firm)–that drive the innovation prowess of firms. While firms in developed economies take such factors as the norm, firms in developing countries face evolving norms and internal challenges to comply with tighter regulatory regimes; however, the research suggests that impact of these four factors appear to be similar to those faced by firms in developed countries. Our research contributes by seeking to broaden our understanding of innovation prowess in emerging country contexts. Innovation in these markets is generally less well understood, especially as they adapt to the tighter regulatory regimes required to compete in global markets (e.g. WTO).
- Emerging economies
- innovation prowess
- knowledge-intensive firms
- patent-driven product innovation