An International Research Handbook
PRIME Series on Research and Innovation Policy in Europe
Edited by Ruud E. Smits, Stefan Kuhlmann and Phillip Shapira
Chapter 1: Introduction. A Systemic Perspective: The Innovation Policy Dance
Stefan Kuhlmann, Philip Shapira and Ruud Smits This book is about the interaction between innovation practice, innovation policy and innovation theory. The book aims to increase insight into this interactive process, searching for options to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of policy and of innovative practice. The book also identifies conceptual or empirical lacunae and questions that can guide future research. We seek to inform and support policymakers, innovators and innovation scientists - not so much by providing a state-of-the-art, but by presenting a theory-based vision on the interrelated dynamics of innovation policy, practice and research. In this introductory chapter we set out a framework for the book by taking three steps. First we introduce a systemic perspective on innovation as a social phenomenon as well as a subject of public policy and of socio-economic analysis. Second we offer the reader a guiding metaphor for the book's underlying approach: 'tite 'dance of innovation practice, policy, and theory'. Finally we present an overview of the book's chapters. INNOVATION IN A SYSTEMIC PERSPECTIVE However named and valued, 'innovation' - the development and adoption of new and improved ways of addressing social and economic needs and wants - has occurred in society and economy since the early days of mankind. The stirring power of innovation changed the social structure of medieval societies as the art of printing unleashed the spreading of ideas and aided the birth of modern science and technology (e.g. Zilsel et al. 2003; Roberts et al. 2007). In the mid...