The national social science fund program “Theoretical Research on the Transformation of the Economic Development Pattern through Innovative Labor”recently concluded, resulting in a monograph entitled “On Innovative Labour – Research on the Driving Theory on the Transformation of the Pattern of Economic Development”. The person responsible for the program was Pei Xiaoge, a research fellow from the Institute of Economics of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (CASS).
Based on analyzing the current requirement for innovative labor which can realize the transformation of the pattern of economic development, and on a retracing of the theoretical origins of innovative labor, the program explores the theory of innovative labor, closely combining Marxist economic theory with China’s ongoing transformation of its pattern of economic development. Additionally, research was conducted on the functions of innovative labor associated with the transformation of the pattern of economic development. The program also explored how to better apply and develop innovative labor so as to push forward this transformation in the areas of science and technology, services, management, administration, culture, systems, entrepreneurship and employment.
“In the process of transforming the pattern of economic development, the most important factor which determines a country’s competitiveness varies in different stages”, explains Pei Xiaoge. With the emergence of the knowledge economy, differences in innovative labor between countries have become fundamental. In order to speed up China’s economic development and build a well-off society, China’s competitive power must therefore shift from the current orientation on production factors and investment towards an orientation on innovation.
“Innovative Labor” is a concept which was proposed by Pei Xiaoge in his work “Wealth and Development - Das Kapital and Modern Economic Theory Research”, published in 2005.
According to Pei Xiaoge, “innovative labor” means labor which can create new value in its use so as to meet new demands. Within the competition of economic globalization, innovative labor has become the most powerful competitive weapon and cooperative advantage a country can dispose of. Under such circumstances, a country cannot gain a competitive advantage if it remains passive and underdeveloped, depending solely on non-innovative labor and other non-labor production factors.
Innovative entrepreneurial labor can potentially make long-term contributions to the transformation of the economic development pattern. The governments of different countries are thus all actively encouraging entrepreneurship and formulating national strategies and policy orientations based upon innovative entrepreneurial labor.
Looking at the current global development of entrepreneurial innovative labor, it can be seen that China is a highly active region in this field, but it is beset by low rates of success and growth because of the various contradictions and difficulties Chinese enterprises are faced with during their growing process. Researchers feel that we urgently need to carry out research on the concept, conditions and functions of innovative entrepreneurial labor, understand its growth laws, explore a development path suitable for China’s innovative entrepreneurial labor and accelerate the construction of a development system and a macro-policy framework for this kind of labor, with the goal of transforming the economic development pattern.
A country’s employment situation reflects the allocation of its social resources and the combination of its production factors. Innovative labor which creates employment determines economic efficiency and directly affects the process of the transformation of the economic development pattern. Employment, which is closely related to the basic livelihood and living standards of the largest groups in society, workers and their families, can affect the stability of both a country’s society and of its regime. How to create employment through innovative labor is a basic and major social and economic issue.
The program in question indicates that laborers at all levels have the ability to engage in innovative labor and impact upon the transformation of China’s economic development pattern. What is most fundamental for the transformation of the economic development pattern is giving full play to the initiative and creativity of laborers at all levels so as to produce as much social wealth as possible.
The Chinese version appeared in Chinese Social Sciences Today (CASS Special Issue) No. 237. Wang Chunyan
Translated by Yu Hui