Business innovation in New Zealand: findings from a qualitative study

Wednesday, November 21, 2018
New Zealand Productivity Commission, Level 15, Fujitsu Tower, 141 The Terrace

Sharon Pells, Principal Research Analyst, and
Chris Howard, Senior Analyst,
Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment

Time: 10.30 – 12.00 noon, Wednesday, 21 November 2018

Governments support business innovation and R&D to lift productivity and contribute to other economic outcomes. However, previous quantitative studies have struggled to find evidence of a relationship between reported innovation and the performance of New Zealand firms. This qualitative study aims to complement, and shed light on, previous studies of firm innovation in New Zealand.

Based on interviews with thirty New Zealand firms representing a diverse range of industries, sizes, and levels of involvement in innovation and R&D, the study explores the meaning(s) of innovation and R&D according to the firms themselves. Motivations, strategies, and constraints to innovation and R&D are examined, along with responses from the Business Operations Survey (BOS). The findings will be relevant to policymakers with an interest in innovation and R&D, and researchers who use innovation and R&D measures from the BOS.

Please note that RSVPs are essential and places will be allocated on a first come, first served basis.

Sharon and Chris are both researchers from the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE). They have different backgrounds from each other but share a common interest in qualitative research.

Sharon Pells is a Principal Research Analyst in the Strategic Policy branch at MBIE, where she undertakes research on aspects of firm performance. She joined MBIE in 2011. Previously Sharon worked in a variety of research roles in the private sector and at NZIER.

Chris Howard is a Senior Analyst in the Business and Economic Development team at MBIE, where he works on a range of topics, including wellbeing, tourism, and regional development. Before joining MBIE in 2017, he held appointments at Massey University, Boston University, Hiroshima University and is currently an adjunct lecturer in cultural anthropology at Chaminade University of Honolulu. He has published numerous peer-reviewed articles, reviews and the book, Mobile Lifeworlds.