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Oslo Manual 2018

Guidelines for Collecting, Reporting and Using Data on Innovation, 4th Edition

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What is innovation and how should it be measured? Understanding the scale of innovation activities, the characteristics of innovative firms and the internal and systemic factors that can influence innovation is a prerequisite for the pursuit and analysis of policies aimed at fostering innovation. First published in 1992, the Oslo Manual is the international reference guide for collecting and using data on innovation. In this fourth edition, the manual has been updated to take into account a broader range of innovation-related phenomena as well as the experience gained from recent rounds of innovation surveys in OECD countries and partner economies and organisations. 

 

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Measuring external factors influencing innovation in firms

Understanding the context in which firms operate is essential for collecting and interpreting data on business innovation. The systems view of innovation stresses the importance of external factors that can influence a firm’s incentives to innovate, the types of innovation activities that it undertakes, and its innovation capabilities and outcomes. External factors can also be the object of a business strategy, public policy or concerted social action by public interest groups. This chapter discusses the characteristics of the firm’s external environment that can influence innovation and the associated challenges and opportunities that managers need to consider when making strategic choices, including for innovation. These factors include the activities of customers, competitors and suppliers; labour market, legal, regulatory, competitive and economic conditions; and the supply of technological and other types of knowledge of value to innovation.

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