IMB Students Presented Their Research at the 21st Portorož Business Conference


Portorož Business Conference (PKP) is an annual gathering of business world, where numerous participants from various fields engage in networking and discussions about current events, relevant topics and best business practices. The 21st PKP was held on 14th and 15th November 2019 in Hotel Bernardin, Portorož.


Each year, the current generation of students of the International Full Time Master Programme in Business and Organization (IMB) prepares an extended research project relevant to the theme of the conference, in collaboration with school’s top professors and researchers as well as outside collaborators from companies.


The 26th generation and their mentors prepared 15 articles concerning innovation, gathered in a book titled “Innovation Governance: Leading the Winners,” edited by prof. dr. Polona Domadenik, prof. dr. Matjaž Koman and prof. dr. Tjaša Redek and presented by Thyme Nord, Vid Janša and Iva Drvarič.  Divided into four major parts, the book takes a look at current global trends, company’s case studies, specific research devoted to Slovenia and policy recommendations.


Maga trends, such as urbanization, industry 4.0 and ageing of population, driven by the need for sustainability and efficient use of resources, dictate the path for innovation. We can observe the trend-setters (the US, China and the EU) taking different approaches to stimulate innovation yet realizing that it is the business sectors that is the main driver and the political environment which needs to be supportive of such development.


Comparing leaders in innovation to followers (among which is also Slovenia) we can see that the main difference is that followers have the opportunity to observe which products are already commercially successful, which creates an opportunity for thoughtful imitation, while technology leaders assume the risks of how successful their products or processes may be on the market.


Globally, underperforming countries perform worse in education, have lower investments in tech and science, and have business environments which do not do much to support innovation activities. Conducting our own survey in Slovenia, it was obvious that Innovation Champions invest the most into their R&D, but it is interesting to note that the Laggards spend more of their revenue here than Strong Innovators. This suggests that the reason Lagging companies fall behind is not entirely based on the amount they invest into R&D, but rather how efficiently they spend it. This further raises questions about their productivity and value added per employee.


Slovenia is currently ranked as a »Moderate Innovator« by the European Innovation Scoreboard and it lags behind the EU primarily in finance and support, innovation activities, sales effects and in entrepreneurial opportunities. However, more detailed firm level data nonetheless shows that Slovenian companies, especially the larger and export-oriented ones, are significantly more successful that the average European company.


Lastly, the effect of subsidies was researched. Results indicate that even though more successful firms (including more productive firms) are probably more likely to get a subsidy, the money received is on average invested well and ultimately results in an increased productivity.


The purpose of this book is to address and answer questions which concern businesses in their innovation processes as well as open new perspectives on certain issues they are dealing with. Congratulations to the 26th generation of the IMB programe as well as their mentors for excellent work, which will hopefully find its place in the processes of innovation, research and development.


Iva Drvarič, 26th generation IMB



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