Toward a Framework for Retail Innovation Policy – A Case Study from Stavanger
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The results of the financial crisis, the decline in oil prices and global climate changes are forcing the need of restructuring the economy; moving towards a more diversified economy, a more competitive, effective and efficient innovation system, and improving research efforts and quality of higher education. Further, global competitive pressure, fluctuating purchasing power and social responsibility is reducing consumer wallet size as well as share of wallet. As a result, retailers are challenged with new technologies aimed at the service industry which are increasing competition and escalating consumer demands. Given the importance of retail as a contributor to economic viability, cultivating innovation within the industry is an area worthy of policy attention. The aim of this study is to identify how policy can stimulate innovation and facilitate diffusion within the retail industry. Using Stavanger, Norway as a case study, we conduct a qualitative analysis which explores retailer response to innovation as well as the effectiveness of existing innovation policies within the industry. Research was carried out utilizing a multi-operational approach, whereby findings from in-depth interviews were combined with supplementary perspectives and secondary data in effort to produce a holistic account of the phenomena. We find evidence that cognitive barriers and financial anxiety among retailers, as well as lack of innovation policy instruments applicable for the retail industry are negatively influencing innovation adoption. This impact is particularly evident among small, locally-based retailers. Therefore, we propose a framework for retail innovation policy to complement the existing innovation support schemes in the stimulation and diffusion of innovation within the retail industry.
Master's thesis in Business innovation