Maria E. Eggink

Publications

2 Human Capital and the Innovation System – Case Study of the Mpumalanga Province, South Africa

Authors: Maria E. Eggink

Abstract:

Innovation plays an important role in economic growth and development. Evolutionary economics has entrepreneurs at the centre of the innovation system, but includes all other participants as contributors to the performance of the innovation system. Education and training institutions, one of the participants in the innovation system, contributes in different ways to human capital. The gap in literature on the competence building as part of human capital in the analysis of innovation systems is addressed in this paper. The Mpumalanga Province of South Africa is used as a case study. It was found that the absence of a university, the level of education, the quality and performance in the education sector and the condition of the education infrastructure have not been conducive to learning.

Keywords: Human Capital, education institutions, Mpumalanga Province, innovation systems

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1 A Review of the Theoretical Context of the Role of Innovation in Economic Development

Authors: Maria E. Eggink

Abstract:

It is the aim of this paper to place the role of innovation in economic development in its theoretical context through a literature review. The review compares classical economic theory and the neoclassical theories of “equilibrium in the markets” and “perfectly competitive markets” with the Schumpeterian theory. It was found that Schumpeter’s role in contributing towards economic development theories, and by creating awareness of the role of innovation in these theories is of immeasurable importance. His contribution led to a change in economic thinking, although this was only realized much later than when his theories were first published. The neo-Schumpeterian thinking expanded on the Schumpeterian theory by studying innovation within a system of interaction among different role players. Studies on innovation should be founded in the neo-Schumpeterian school of thought in order to accommodate the complexity of the innovation system concept.

Keywords: Innovation, Economic Development, Evolutionary Economics, Schumpeter

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Abstracts

1 Human Capital and the Innovation System: A Case Study of the Mpumalanga Province, South Africa

Authors: Maria E. Eggink

Abstract:

Human capital is one of the essential factors in an innovation system and innovation is the driving force of economic growth and development. Schumpeter focused on the entrepreneur as innovator, but the evolutionary economists shifted the focus to all participants in the innovation system. Education and training institutions are important participants in an innovation system, but there is a gap in literature on competence building as part of the analysis of innovation systems. In this paper the education and training institutions’ competence building role in the innovation system is examined. The Mpumalanga Province of South Africa is used as a case study. It was found that the absence of a university, the level of education, the quality and performance in the education sector and the condition of the education infrastructure have not been conducive to learning.

Keywords: Human Capital, Innovation systems, education institutions, Mpumalanga Province

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