Innovation is important to firm growth and economic development. This is particularly applicable to such countries as Taiwan, which, as a small island with limited resources, has historically pursued new wealth creation to justify its political sovereignty and earn international recognition. The literature on national innovation systems, for example, has documented Taiwan as a system of entrepreneurship, characterized as a bunch of SMEs and risk-taking entrepreneurs aspiring to innovate against competitive pressures and established giants (Hung & Whittington, 2011). Innovation prevails from the long-lasting OEM sector to the new age of information technology and digitalization. As high-tech industries such as personal computers and semiconductors began to emerge in the island in the 1980s, or at present with the coming of AI, VR/AR, cloud computing, blockchain, etc., innovation is expected to be more important than ever, and has the potential to give Taiwan the edge of reinforcing its competitiveness even further. This trend in turn has led many management scholars to study the antecedents and consequences of innovation and, as a result, to make important contributions to the literature ranging from strategy and marketing to organizational behavior and operations management. Hence the theme of this virtual issue: innovation in Taiwan.
In general, innovation could be empirically studied at the level of intra-organization, inter-organization, and organizational context. At the intra-organizational level, innovation studies address how organizational functions or activities are structured or reengineered in a way to find opportunities and exploit resources to support new ways of doing business. At the inter-organizational level, innovation can be analyzed to study how economic actors make good use of such cooperative mechanisms such as clusters, systems, networks, mergers and acquisitions to secure power and trust for earning high returns and creating new ventures. In terms of the analysis for innovation in context, innovation studies can be broadly defined to include those concerned with how organizations exercise embedded agency to change institutional constraints and so define new rules of the game that better suit their interests.