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Promoting innovation in aid of industrial development: the Singaporean experience

Andrew L.S. Goh (International Graduate School of Management, University of South Australia, Adelaide, Australia)

International Journal of Public Sector Management

ISSN: 0951-3558

Article publication date: 1 May 2005




The purpose of this article is to examine, appraise and highlight the significance of promoting innovation in aid of industrial development.


A comprehensive range of published literature is critiqued first to understand why industrial development constitutes a major objective of a country's economic strategy and government policy. Then, through a theoretical review of industrial policy works, relevant issues (e.g. how efficient industrial development sustains economic growth) are highlighted for discussion. For instance, the importance of private sector‐led industrial development and the need to adopt a primary focus on innovation‐driven industrial policy.


By drawing lessons from the developed world, the article explains why industrial policy‐making must address the pursuit of innovation as a prime mover of economic development; and further outlines the role of government in innovation‐driven industrial policy. As a case study, evolutionary perspectives of Singapore's industrialisation process are elaborated to illustrate a government's role in industrial policy‐making.

Research limitations/implications

Future research could provide better guidance to address new emergent challenges of industrial policy‐making.

Practical implications

The discussion on industrial policy issues raised in this article is expected to be of interest to policy makers, industry planners, academic researchers and business practitioners.


This article offers insights into effective industrial policy‐making for developing nations that may help to transform their economies.



Goh, A.L.S. (2005), "Promoting innovation in aid of industrial development: the Singaporean experience", International Journal of Public Sector Management, Vol. 18 No. 3, pp. 216-240.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2005, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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