University of Tasmania
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Systems for successful innovation : the case of food safety in the Australian red meat industry

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posted on 2023-05-26, 17:58 authored by Jenson, I
Innovation is considered to be necessary for economic development and global competitiveness. An approach to understanding the innovation process, known as Systems of Innovation, or Innovation Systems, has developed since the 1980s in an attempt to understand, explain and encourage innovation at national, regional, sectoral and technological levels. These approaches have been used to develop policy, but less effort has been made to apply these approaches to the work of the researcher, technologist and practitioner who conduct research and apply the results in the hope that innovation will result. The sectoral and technological systems approaches were selected to analyse the innovation performance of food safety projects in the Australian red meat industry. This study aimed to determine the value of applying sectoral and technological system failure frameworks at the level of individual projects. The frameworks were constructed as theories, so that they could be tested. The primary research question was whether the theories were able to explain the ability of research to lead to innovation. This study further considered the performance of the innovation system as a whole and the role of the actors in the innovation system. This study utilised a multiple case study design, collecting data through surveys of people involved in past research and development projects. The principal method of data analysis was fuzzy-set Qualitative Comparative Analysis (QCA), which is suited to the analysis of case study data. Both the sectoral and technological system frameworks were able to explain the success or failure of projects to lead to an innovation outcome. Projects that did not lead to an innovation outcome had weak elements in both system frameworks. No obvious correlation between the elements of one framework and the other were noted. Analysis of multiple cases of poor innovation system performance revealed that the same elements from each framework were recurrently weak. A detailed analysis of the interactions between actors in this system established the central role played by the intermediary, the research and development corporation charged with managing the projects. The findings have implications for theory, method, policy and practice. This study has provided evidence that both system failure frameworks include factors significant to predicting innovation failure at the project level. Furthermore, these innovation system frameworks describe a system that operates in a consistent way from project to project. The importance of intermediary functions to innovation system performance is demonstrated. At a methodological level, the work has demonstrated the use of QCA methods for the construction and testing of theory. Consideration has been given to how QCA can be applied to the validation of a measurement system for case study analysis. At the policy level, it is suggested that innovation system failure frameworks could be applied to the design of innovation projects to increase the chance of a successful outcome. The consolidation of the two failure frameworks into one may benefit the design and management of projects at the intersection of sectoral and technological innovation systems. At the level of practice, this study suggests that innovation system frameworks may provide managers with important insights and guidance for managing innovation projects and that fulfilling the functions of an intermediary may increase the likelihood of an innovation outcome.


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Copyright 2016 the author Chapter 4 appears to be the equivalent of a post-print version of an article published as: Jenson, I., Leith, P., Doyle, R., West, J., Miles, M. P., 2016. Testing innovation systems theory using qualitative comparative analysis, Journal of business research, 69(4), 1283-1287 Chapter 5 appears to be the equivalent of a post-print version of an article published as: Jenson, I., Leith, P., Doyle, R., West, J., Miles, M. P., 2016, Innovation system problems : causal configurations of innovation failure, Journal of business research, 69(11), 5408-5412 Chapter 6 appears to be the equivalent of a post-print version of an article published as: Jenson, I., Leith, P., Doyle, R., West, J., Miles, M. P., 2016, The root cause of innovation system problems : formative measures and causal configurations, Journal of business research, 69(11), 5292-5298

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