Innovation is proven to be an absolute requirement for growth in both developed and developing countries, but the type and motivation of innovations differ depending on various surrounding factors like socio-cultural attributes, geography, infrastructure, political environment and income-levels of customers. In developed countries innovations are often technology-driven and associated with delighting the end customers. On the contrary, in the developing or emerging markets due to the unique setting and infrastructural gaps innovations are focused towards meeting customer’s fundamental needs. Innovations in emerging markets are also seen as one of the drivers, utilized to address urgent developmental challenges such as poverty, illiteracy and lack of access to healthcare services. Considering these vast differences in driving factors, this research focuses on the comparison of the ongoing innovation fostering in both developed and developing world individually. This thesis is an attempt to understand the innovation landscape across these two worlds and focus on specific innovation approaches based on their potential and relevance.
In developed world, information technology (IT) is emerging out as the key enabling technology across different innovation approaches. This thesis focuses on one such innovative application of IT called technology convergence, which is an integration of information and operational technologies (Gartner, 2011). Significant financial and productivity benefits are expected from this convergence and therefore many industrial companies are investing heavily into this alignment and undergoing huge business transformations. This study analyses the case of General Electric undergoing such a strategic business transformation. Study conceptualizes a theoretical framework around this new concept by expanding the Venkatraman’s (1994) IT-enablement model and exhibiting evidences of non–linearity and overlap across different transformation stages. Study discloses, IT localized exploitation stage as a default stage for initiating technology convergence and illustrates that each stage of the transformation has an impact on a unique set of organizational dimensions. Business scope redefinition stage influences the dimension of strategy and vision while internal integration stage influences the organization’s structure dimension. The two dimensions that are impacted most during the business process and network redesign stages, are business process and products and markets respectively.
In contrast to the developed world where innovation approaches are focused on IT enabled performance enhancements, emerging markets are observing innovations centred on frugal products that are cost effective and provide value for money. Past two decades have seen a tremendous growth in emerging markets as they are developing their own innovative capabilities (Jiatao and Rajiv, 2009). Country like India, which is also a focus of this thesis, initially playing secondary roles has now become a breeding ground for frugal and social global innovations. This thesis discusses various types of innovation approaches adopted by local firms and multi-national companies in emerging markets such as frugal innovation, jugaad, disruptive innovation, gandhian innovation, catalytic innovation, indigenous innovation, resource-constrained innovation and bottom-up innovation. It identifies the increasing complexity and terminology confusion across these approaches in the growing and fragmented literature revolving around emerging markets. Targeting this shortcoming of the literature, this study attempts to consolidate the research insights into a unified framework defining eight main requirements of emerging markets namely cost-effective, easy-to-use, sustainable, problem-centric, no-frills, fast-to-market, resourceful and breakthrough. Additionally, study also analyses the priorities of these requirements during the buying and designing process from end customers and manufacturers point of view respectively. Research confirms “cost-effective” and “easy to use” as the absolute requirements of bottom-of-pyramid (BOP) customers and reveals the growing awareness towards eco-friendly products. It also introduces two additional important features from customer perspective namely – low/no maintenance or consumables and customized solutions to the framework.
Furthermore, research also touches upon the topic of social enterprises, medium to diffuse social innovations into emerging markets to address social challenges and developmental issues like poverty and access to healthcare services. Study uses event structure analysis and four growth stages identified by Perrini et al. (2010); opportunity identification, opportunity evaluation, opportunity exploitation and opportunity scaling-up to analyze two social healthcare enterprises in India. It proposes an abstract model of a social enterprise with the contributing generalized actions and their causal interactions. Thesis ends with a conclusion giving an overview and a consolidated view of innovation approaches existing in developed world and emerging markets. Additionally it reemphasises some of the limitations experienced during the research work and suggests related future research propositions.
The present dissertation traces how trends relating to globalization and demographic change impact on the labor market situation and retirement processes of older workers. The work focuses on Denmark, which is often cited as a role model for other OECD countries due to its specific institutional context and its traditionally high labor market participation of older people. In addition, the results from this Danish country study are compared to findings from Germany and the Netherlands, enabling an assessment of Denmark’s performance from a cross-country comparative perspective. In that context, the empirical analyses combine an examination of observed experiences in both the late career and the retirement process with how people themselves view their transition into the state of retirement.
To reach the Millennium Development Goal of Universal Primary Education (UPE), developing countries have implemented numerous educational policies (United Nations, 2014). Despite the remarkable upsurge in schooling in these countries, gender-related inequalities are persistent, particularly in levels of attainment. A recent report of United Nations specified that only 23% of girls in poor rural households do complete the primary level of education in Sub-Saharan Africa in 2011 (UNESCO, 2014). This dissertation provides three potential explanations for these issues: the schooling costs; the school infrastructure; and the household wealth. The first explanation relates to the remaining schooling costs. Indeed, policies of removal of school fees often neglect that parents also support other kinds of schooling costs. These residual costs are the indirect costs and the opportunity costs, which are reasonably high in some developing countries. In the case of Benin, a West African country, despite the removal of school fees, the residual schooling costs remain high. Thus, the dilemma of which child to send to school is still relevant for poor households. The evaluation of the elimination of school fees in Benin provides evidence for this argument. The poor quality of schools' infrastructure in developing countries could be a second explanation for the gender gap in schooling. The long distances to the closest primary school, the large numbers of pupils in the classrooms, the lack of teachers and pedagogical materials are all factors that could discourage children―especially girls―in their school attendance. The evaluation of a demand-and-supply policy indicates the importance of a removal of school costs and the upgrading of the schools’ infrastructure to reduce the gender gap in schooling. The third explanation relates to the importance of the household wealth on schooling decisions. A policy that eliminates school fees could maintain the dependence of schooling decisions on household wealth by neglecting the remaining schooling costs. In such a case, a wealth shock could be detrimental to the gender gap in schooling and on the efforts already engaged in to reach the goal of UPE. The assessment of the impact of a negative wealth shock on children’s schooling and labor in Benin provides empirical evidence for this argument.
The contributions of this dissertation are both theoretical and empirical. On one hand, this research meaningfully extends the literature on impact evaluation in Benin. Crucially, the country lacks research studies that evaluate economic policies. On the other hand, the relevance of the dissertation also lies in the analysis of the relationship between price and wealth effects. These effects are observed through the reactions of households to wealth or price changes. They indicate which policy―based on the schooling price or the household wealth―should be prioritized to enhance education in Benin. On the other hand again, the theory of the determinants of gender-related differences in schooling is also tested in the articles. Finally, this research uses novel methods in the field of impact evaluation with three natural experiments in the case of Benin to support the arguments.
This dissertation designs a metadata-driven infrastructure for panel data that aims to increase both the quality and the usability of the resulting research data. Data quality determines whether the data appropriately represent a particular aspect of our reality. Usability originates notably from a conceivable documentation, accessibility of the data, and interoperability with tools and other data sources. In a metadata-driven infrastructure, metadata are prepared before the digital objects and process steps that they describe. This enables data providers to utilize metadata for many purposes, including process control and data validation. Furthermore, a metadata-driven design reduces the overall costs of data production and facilitates the reuse of both data and metadata.
The main use case is the German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP), but the results claim to be re-usable for other panel studies. The introduction of the Generic Longitudinal Business Process Model (GLBPM) and a general discussion of digital objects managed by panel studies provide a generic framework for the development of a metadata-driven infrastructure for panel studies. A first theoretical application presents two designs for variable linkage to support record linkage and statistical matching with structured metadata: concepts for omnidirectional relations and process models for unidirectional relations. Furthermore, a reference architecture for a metadata-driven infrastructure is designed and implemented. This provides a proof of concept for the previous discussion and an environment for the development of DDI on Rails. DDI on Rails is a data portal, optimized for the documentation and dissemination of panel data. The design considers the process model of the GLBPM, the generic discussion of digital objects, the design of a metadata-driven infrastructure, and the proposed solutions for variable linkage.