Does openness improve national innovation? An application to OECD countries
Systems Research and Behavioral Science
John Wiley and Sons, Ltd
Centre for Innovative Practice / School of Business and Law
Open systems theory offers a conceptual platform to understand how systems can be effective in adapting to their environments through purposeful action. It is relevant to the performance of national systems of innovation: open‐oriented countries are more likely to be successful in innovation because of the knowledge exchange between international organizations and organizations within the same country. In this paper, the open systems concept is defined and measured by a number of factors including extent of open trade, information and communication technology development, and online government service measures. In this study, the relationship between the measures of openness and the level of innovation of each country (measured using the Global Innovation Index) is analysed using analysis of variance, with results indicating a positive relationship. The theoretical contribution resides in the argument that a nation's openness relates to innovation capability and that this can be assessed by the factors in the model used in the paper. We argue that rather than focusing on innovation, countries should consider developing an open systems platform for innovation by maximizing their interactions with the international environment and developing mechanisms to circulate knowledge internally within the country. This should result in a supportive context where innovations can emerge. Copyright © 2017 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.