The Drivers of Product Innovation in Africa

Victor Atiase, Dennis Dzansi

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference proceedingpeer-review


    Firm competitiveness and profitability can be derived from the ability of the firm to innovate essential and user-friendly products. In the face of globalisation and fierce competition, product innovation remains one of the major sources of productivity, corporate renewal, survival and strategic foresight for firms operating in emerging markets. Firms in emerging markets need to develop various capabilities such as skilled human capital, creativity, networking and competitiveness in order to engage effectively in product innovation. Through the creativity debate and using the Global Entrepreneurship Index (GEI) 2017 for 35 African countries, this study investigates the strategic role of human capital, networking and competition as the main drivers of product innovation among firms in Africa. The evidence shows that while human capital and firm competitiveness contribute to product innovation among firms in Africa, networking does not seem to contribute to the same. Theoretically, this study contributes to the creativity debate and the role of the individual talent in driving such a process in a firm’s environment. Practically, firms need to continue to focus on human resource capacity development and staff training which is critical for product innovation.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationInternational Conference on Entrepreneurship Development, South Africa
    Publication statusPublished - 4 May 2019
    EventInternational Conference on Entrepreneurship Development - Bloemfontein, Free State, South Africa
    Duration: 3 Apr 20195 Apr 2019
    Conference number: 2nd


    ConferenceInternational Conference on Entrepreneurship Development
    Abbreviated titleICED2019
    Country/TerritorySouth Africa
    CityBloemfontein, Free State
    Internet address


    • Africa
    • Product Innovation
    • Competitiveness
    • Human capital
    • Networking
    • Creativity Theory


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