Innovation Challenges in Latin America


Journal of Technology Management and Innovation

Innovation emerges as an option for companies to achieve growth and sustainability in a dynamic, complex and increasingly competitive environment. Thus, the innovation process has been analyzed from different perspectives, finding different definitions and classifications (Porter, 1998; Cooke, 2008; McCann and Ortega-Argiles, 2015; Geldes et al, 2017a).

However, most innovation studies have focused on developed economies. In fact, in the case of Latin America, studies started late and are relatively scarce (Ketelhöhn and Ogliastri, 2013; Olavarrieta and Villena, 2014). In addition, it has been established that business innovation is determined by internal and external factors that are specific to each industrial sector and country, so those general recommendations can only be made to promote innovation in developing or emerging countries (Brenes et al, 2016; Geldes et al, 2017a; Heredia et al, 2018a). Moreover, there are specific variables in Latin American and emerging economies that affect innovation processes such as high levels of informal competition, low levels of inter-organizational cooperation, differences between companies in regions and capitals, among others (Pino et al, 2016; Brache and Felzensztein, 2017; Geldes et al, 2017b; Heredia et al, 2018b).

Given the above, we propose this “special issue” of the Journal of Technology Management and Innovation (, with the purpose of contributing to the discussion of the challenges to promote innovation in Latin America. With the purpose of orienting the research proposals, we propose the Global Index of Innovation[1] as a framework, considering the disaggregation of its dimensions and components. It will allow shedding light on topics that can be addressed for this special issue oriented to the firm´s innovation, such as:


  • Ease of starting a business
  • Ease of resolving insolvency

Human Capital and Research

  • Researchers
  • Global R&D companies


  • Uses and access of Information and Communication Technologies
  • ISO 14001 environmental certificates

Market sophistication

  • Ease of getting credit
  • Intensity of local competition
  • Domestic market scale

Business sophistication

  • The percentage of females employed with advanced degrees out of total employed
    University/industry research collaboration
  • Intellectual property payments
  • Research talent in business enterprise

Knowledge and technology outputs

  • Patent applications by origin
  • New business density
  • Total computer software spending
  • High-tech exports

Creative outputs.

  • Cultural and creative services exports
  • Mobile app creation


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