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 The word innovation is etymologically derived from the Latin word “innovatus” (Güngör, 2013). “Innovatus” is, in turn, the past tense of the verb “innovare”, formed by combining the words “in” (meaning “into …”) and “novus” (meaning “new”). The Turkish Language Society (TDK) uses the Turkish word “yenileşim” for innovation (although the similar-sounding word “inovasyon” is also used in everyday Turkish), and defines it as “the utilization of new methods in social, cultural and managerial contexts in order to adapt to changing conditions.” (TDK, 2015)

A review of the literature indicates that the concept of innovation is used in many different ways and contexts. The Oslo Manual, which is the “Guidelines for Collecting and Interpreting Technological Innovation Data”, broadly defines the concept of innovation as “the introduction of goods or services that are new or significantly improved; the implementation of a new or significantly improved production or delivery methods; the implementation of new marketing methods; or the implementation of new organizational methods in business practices, workplace organization or external relations” (OECD, 2005)

Innovation was first defined by Joseph Schumpeter, who described it as the “driving force of development.” In his book written in 1911, and translated to English in 1934, Schumpeter defines innovation as the “launch of a new product or a new species of a known product; the application of a new method of production; the opening of a new market; the acquisition of a new source of supply for raw materials or semi-finished goods; or the development of a new industry structure” (Elçi, 2006). “In its broadest sense, innovation can be defined as the conversion of knowledge into economic or social gain/benefit. For this reason, it involves a combination of technical, economic and social processes. It is the product of a desire for change, of the hunger for novelty, and of a culture of entrepreneurship” (Elçi, 2006). The Oslo Manual evaluates the different types of innovation under 4 headings, or groups. These are:  Product innovation: The introduction into the market of a good or service that is new or significantly improved with respect to its characteristics or intended uses. This includes significant improvements in technical specifications, components and materials, incorporated software, user friendliness or other functional characteristics.  Process innovation: The implementation of a new or significantly improved production or delivery method. This includes significant changes in techniques, equipment and/or software.  Marketing innovation: The implementation of a new marketing method involving significant changes in product design or packaging, product placement, product promotion or pricing  Organizational innovation: The implementation of a new organizational method in the firm’s business practices, workplace organization or external relations.(OECD,2005)

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