Towards a Pragmatic Perspective on Business Innovation in Western Balkan Countries: The Case of Albania

  •  Peter Nientied    
  •  Elona Karafili    


Recent reports and articles on innovation and innovation management in the Western Balkan countries conclude that innovation is quite limited. It is suggested that the development of a national innovation system is needed to increase innovation capacity and innovation outcomes. However, this is a conventional perspective which has so far not worked. In this article we explore Albania as a Western Balkan case. The aim of the article is to learn from a better contextualization of innovation, by taking into account the specific conditions of the Western Balkan countries and Albania in particular. Results of empirical research confirm that the innovation capacity of Albanian firms is rather minimal indeed. They also provide insights that lead to an alternative perspective of fostering business innovation in Albania; not a focus on building a national innovation system but on a pragmatic ‘everyday innovation’ approach. This perspective should be relevant for other Western Balkan countries too.

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