Innovative Security Business : Innovation, Standardization, and Industry Dynamics in the Swedish Security Sector, 1992–2012
Abstract: The overall aim of this dissertation is to generate new knowledge on innovation output and standardization in industries where innovation output typically is considered sparse. This is done through the longitudinal study of the Swedish security guard industry and security sector 1992-2012. Several longitudinal databases have been constructed across the two studied decades. These include three different databases on innovations in the security guard industry and the security sector, one on standardization of security products and services, and a database that describes industry structure and development. In contrast to much previous research, and in line with recent calls for multiple innovation indicators, this approach enables the addressing of innovation through the lens of several longitudinal innovation indicators and from different perspectives. It also allows for analysis of the relationship between innovation and standardization, which often have played a peripheral role in previous innovation studies. The main findings show that innovation has played an important role in the industry and the sector as a whole. Essential characteristics of innovation in the studied industry/sector, 1992-2012, have corresponded – to varying degrees – to established ‘stylized facts’ in the literature on industry patterns of innovation output. The importance of multiple indicators is particularly apparent when addressing temporal patterns of innovation output in the present study. Different approaches to measuring innovation output showed distinctly different temporal patterns of innovation, bearing different implications on the relationship between innovation output and industry development and dynamics. Moreover, standardization is explored from complementing perspectives: i) as diffusion of innovation; ii) as organizational and marketing innovation, and iii) as an industry-specific indicator of innovation output. Fundamental questions regarding innovation output are thereby addressed, such as how innovation research addresses and captures innovations after market introduction, along with discussions on what constitutes ‘innovativeness’ in terms of newness and commercial application. The dissertation contributes to and challenges conventional knowledge on industry patterns of innovation output and the role of innovation in service industries, mature industries, and low-tech industries. It also contributes to the literature on the relationship between innovation and standardization, and to the methodological discussion on innovation indicators.
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