A Comparative Analysis of Sociotechnical Constituencies in Europe and Latin America
New Horizons in the Economics of Innovation series
Edited by Roberto López-Martínez and Andrea Piccaluga
Chapter 1: Introduction: the meso-foundations of national innovation systems
Roberto E. López-Martínez and Andrea Piccaluga 1.1 Today, a high level of consensus exists regarding the importance of scientiﬁc progress and technological innovation for the growth and competitiveness of ﬁrms and for the improvement of national economic performance. Indeed, since the early 1970s the economics and management literature has paid special attention to two essential aspects of this phenomenon. The ﬁrst concerns the formulation and revision of synchronic and diachronic models1 in an effort to identify and explain the constitutive elements as well as the dynamics of technological change. The second concerns the identiﬁcation and analysis of the macro- and micro-level factors inﬂuencing and conditioning the innovative performance of ﬁrms. Among these, the systemic approach to innovation has emerged during the 1990s as a particularly useful conceptual framework to understand the determinants and consequences of innovation in a useful way (Edquist 1997). The research works presented in this book deal with the analysis of various patterns of developing and using technology capabilities – encompassing the process of innovation in different national and sectoral contexts in Latin America and Europe. The ﬁrst distinctive feature is that they explore the relationship between micro- and macro-level processes on a comparative basis, through the analysis of fairly heterogeneous cases. The commonalities lie in the level of observation. At the micro level, technology transfer, implementation and diffusion are considered as organizationally complex processes of knowledge ﬂows and transformations, which pose crucial challenges in terms of the management of expertise (Fleck 1983)...