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INTERNATIONAL RESEARCH INITIATIVE CONFERENCE (IRIC) 2014
Theme: R&D and Product Innovation
Titl
e: Product Innovation amongst Ghanaian Firms
The Contribution of Research
and Development
George Owusu Essegbey1, Portia Adade1*, Mavis Akuffobea1 and Roland Asare1
1 CSIR
-
Science and Technology Policy Research Institute, Box CT. 519 Accra, Ghana
Du
e to competitive globalization and outsourcing, firms are developing trends to survive in
the market economy to become efficient and effective. This study analyzed the status of
innovation particularly product innovation among firms in Ghana. Data from
second
phase of the African Science, Technology and Innovation Indicator (ASTII) survey
conducted in Ghana from September to December 2012 was used. Purposive sampling was
used to sample 500 manufacturing and service sector firms employin
g more than ten
people across the country. Through questionnaire administration, data was collected and
analyzed using descriptive statistics. The data obtained included 224 innovative firms
out of 309 surveyed firms. On the
whole, 66.5 percent of product innovation
introduced among firms originated from Ghana whiles 33.5 percent were adopted from
outside collaboration. Research and Development (R&D) is a critical component in
innovation for growth of firms.
The results show that, intramural (in
-
house) R&D and
acquisition of other external knowledge accounted for the largest share of expenditure
on innovation activities in Ghana. Majority (60.7%) of the product innovation identified were
develope
d within the firms. This was followed by product innovation developed in
collaboration with other firms, adaptation or modification of originally developed goods
/services and finally by other firms/institutions. The study suggested that focus be given
to
capacity building to form creative, knowledgeable and motivated entrepreneurs to
develop new products as well as improve the performance of R&D through pro
-
poor
innovation policies to make Ghanaian firms innovative enough to remain globally
competitive.
KEYWORDS: Product innovation; Research and Development (R&D); Globalization;
Outsourcing; Ghana.