An investigation of the innovation performance in the capital goods sector in Colombia: using the System Dynamics approach
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The innovation performance of a firm within the capital goods sector in Colombia is addressed using the System Dynamics method. The problem that motivated this study can be stated as the lack of a comprehensive theory that explains both the poor innovation performance of the Colombian industry and its scarce level of the technological capabilities. Although there are a number of attempts to explain the problem, their causal structures are not fully specified and the results of these have not been evaluated with regard to whether they altogether constitute a coherent and consistent theory of the underlying causes explaining the observed dynamics. Robledo’s (1997) research on the innovation process of the Colombian capital goods industry is examined in detail. Robledo’s research is formalized to investigate how well the theory accounts for the phenomena its author set out to explain. We tested that the dynamics that Robledo (1997) describes can be produced by the causal factors he postulates. In particular, we demonstrate that given the intangible nature of capabilities and its effect on the innovation process, the actors making up the system of innovation maybe reluctant to invest in R&D. This fact highlights that industrialists, academics and policy-makers need to do both acknowledge that innovation is a learning process and estimate the intangible benefits of R&D. In particular, academics and policy-makers should encourage the industrialists to consider R&D investments at the core of its business strategy.