A Multidisciplinary Review of the Study of Innovation Systems
New Horizons in the Economics of Innovation series
Edited by Steven Casper and Frans van Waarden
Chapter 5: Innovation, organizational learning and institutional economics
Bart Nooteboom 1 INTRODUCTION: A VARIETY OF LITERATURES In the literature on innovation systems, researchers (notably Lundvall 1985, 1988, 1995) have argued that innovation arises from interaction between organizations. At the same time there is a burgeoning literature on organizational learning. This literature has also indicated the importance for learning of interaction between organizations (Choi and Lee 1997; Hagedoorn and Schakenraad 1994; Mody 1993; Nooteboom 1992, 1999a, 2000). Innovation and learning must be causally connected somehow, but the corresponding streams of literature are only weakly connected. Insights in innovation and learning are fragmented and spread across a wide field of literature, with different, largely disconnected niches that focus on different aspects, aggregation levels and perspectives from different disciplines. Some of these are: studies of organizational learning in the literature on management and organization; ‘population ecology’ in sociology; studies on innovation in the literature on evolutionary and neo-Schumpeterian economics; a related literature on ‘innovation systems’ and a literature on business systems, to which both economists and sociologists contribute; and a literature on institutional economics which studies the boundaries of organizations, interorganizational relations, alliances and networks and the way in which these form the basis for such systems of innovation. Connected to that there is a wider literature on networks which draws on economics and sociology; a marketing literature which is especially strong on the diffusion of innovations; a literature on computational methods for the modelling of dynamic processes; and a literature in cognitive science (a combination of cognitive psychology, artificial intelligence...
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