Mechanisms to Identify and Study the Demand for Innovation Skills in World-Renowned Organizations

On the Horizon, Vol. 21, Issue 2, 2012

15 Pages Posted: 21 Mar 2013

See all articles by Cristobal Cobo

Cristobal Cobo

University of Oxford - Oxford Internet Institute


Purpose - This paper explores the interrelationship between the fields of education and workforce in the context of post-industrial societies. We analyzed key challenges associated with the match (and mismatch) of skill supply and demand between education and the work force.

Design/Methodology/Approach - Using a ‘purposeful sample’, this study provides an evidence-based analysis that explores how and to what extent soft skills are currently required by world recognized organizations such as Greenpeace, World Bank, OECD, Google, Apple and Samsung.

Findings - After a revision of different perspectives to identify and categorize the key skills of the 21st century, this study describes seven non-technical cognitive and social key skills called soft skills for innovation.

Research Limitations/Implications - After exploring a small sample size of five recent job vacancies promoted by six major international organizations, this study analyzes the current demand for soft skills for innovation such as, collaboration, critical thinking, contextual learning, searching, synthesizing and disseminating information, communication, self-direction and creativity. The methodology adopted and the data retrieval process can be replicated with either a larger sample or more focused workforce sectors.

Practical Implications - The described ‘skills mismatch’ emphasizes the importance of creating different strategies and tools that facilitate the recognition of skills acquired independently of educational contexts.

Originality/Value - Finally, this study provides evidence-based information (data available online) that can contribute to rethinking curriculums and exploring ‘blended’ models that mix real life and teaching contexts stimulating the development of soft skills for innovation.

Keywords: skills, innovation, human capital, learning, soft skills, human resources

JEL Classification: I2, E24, O15

Suggested Citation

Cobo, Cristobal, Mechanisms to Identify and Study the Demand for Innovation Skills in World-Renowned Organizations. On the Horizon, Vol. 21, Issue 2, 2012, Available at SSRN:

Cristobal Cobo (Contact Author)

University of Oxford - Oxford Internet Institute ( email )

1 St. Giles
University of Oxford
Oxford OX1 3PG Oxfordshire, Oxfordshire OX1 3JS
United Kingdom


Here is the Coronavirus
related research on SSRN

Paper statistics

Abstract Views
PlumX Metrics