Knowledge issues in the global innovation index: assessment of the state of Saudi Arabia versus countries with distinct development.

Author:Sudairi, Mohammad Al-

This section explores the global innovation index (GII). It emphasizes the main directly related knowledge issues of the index; and it introduces the work presented in these papers.

The global innovation index

The creation, preservation, diffusion and utilization of knowledge produce value that contributes to wealth generation and job creation (Bakry, 2009). The activation of these activities has been attracting attention, as this leads toward building knowledge-based societies that enjoy knowledge promotion culture (Bakry & Alfantoukh, 2010), with economic and social benefits (Bakry & Al-Ghamdi, 2011).

Innovation is of course at the core the knowledge culture. It has been defined as follows (BRIC, 2012):

Innovation is the implementation of a new or significantly improved product (good or service), or process, a new marketing method, or a new organizational method in business practices, workplace organization or external relations. Looking at this definition, the following can be viewed:

* Innovation is driven by implementable knowledge that can be utilized for a purpose.

* The purpose has an outcome that delivers value, and this value results from goods, services, processes, marketing methods, or organizational methods.

* The outcome has a target where the value can be explored; this target includes: Business practices, workplace organization or external relations.

The GII was initiated in 2007 for enhancing the development of policies that promote innovation. For this purpose, the index has been continuously developed over the past years to include various parameters associated with innovation on the one hand, and to assess the state of these parameters in different countries of the worlds on the other. In 2012, the index appeared in its latest form consisting of '84 parameters,' and assessing T41 countries.' The basic dimensions of the index are shown in Figure 1 (Dutta, 2012).

As shown in Figure 1, the index has seven dimensions. Five dimensions are considered to be an input to innovation or innovation enablers; and these collectively provide the innovation input sub-index. The other two are considered to be the output of innovation or its deliverables; and these collectively provide the innovation output sub-index. The two sub-indexes together give the GII; and their ratio provides the innovation efficiency sub-index.

Each of the GII dimensions consists of three main parts. These are given in Table 1. Each part has three or more parameters measured for different countries by various international organizations interested in the subjects of certain parameters. These organizations include: The World Bank; The United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO); the International Telecommunication Union (ITU); the International Standards Organization (ISO); and others (Dutta, 2012).


The GII 2012 report provides two numbers for each parameter: One gives its value according to its definition, while the other uses this value to give the rank of the country concerned, with regards to the parameter considered. The report also computes the two numbers for: Each part, every dimension, the sub-indexes and the overall index.

GII knowledge issues

All GII dimensions, with their parts and parameters, are related to knowledge. However, some of these are directly associated with the knowledge activities of knowledge creation, preservation, diffusion and utilization. They include the following:

* Human capital and research, which include education and research;

* Information and Communication Technology (ICT), which provide information storage, processing and transfer;

* Business sophistication knowledge, which involves: Knowledge workers; innovation linkages and knowledge absorption;

* Knowledge and technology outputs, which are concerned with: Knowledge creation, impact and diffusion; and

* Creative outputs, which include: Creative intangibles, creative goods and services and online creativity.

The issues associated with these will be called here the 'GII knowledge issues.'

The presented work

This paper considers the above knowledge issues as the core of innovation; and it provides an approach for their integrated assessment. It uses the approach to assess the state of Saudi Arabia in these issues relative to the state of countries enjoying distinct development. The selected countries include: Brazil and Russia, the two BRIC countries (also include: India and China), which are considered to be at a similar stage of newly advanced economic development; and they also include: Malaysia and South Korea, which are among the fast developing countries of Asia. From this assessment, it derives conclusions and recommendations on the requirements of the future development of Saudi Arabia.


This section is concerned with presenting an approach to assess the GII knowledge issues in an integrated manner. It presents the principles upon which the approach is based; and it describes related issues.

Approach principles

The assessment approach considered is based on two main principles. The first is concerned with restructuring the GII knowledge issues into layers in order to emphasize their integrated nature. This would illustrate how the various components of the knowledge layers are correlated. The second principle is associated with reconsidering the GII ranking system in favor of the decimal ranking system...

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