Diversity in the Knowledge Economy and Society

Diversity in the Knowledge Economy and Society

Heterogeneity, Innovation and Entrepreneurship

Science, Innovation, Technology and Entrepreneurship series

Edited by Elias G. Carayannis, Aris Kaloudis and Åge Mariussen

The key message of this book is that heterogeneity should be seen as an intrinsic and indispensable element of knowledge systems. The authors address the concept of heterogeneity in a multi-disciplinary fashion, including perspectives from evolutionary economics and innovation system studies, and relate this approach to existing theories in a broad range of fields.

Chapter 1: Introduction

Elias G. Carayannis, Aris Kaloudis and Åge Mariussen

Subjects: business and management, diversity and management, knowledge management, economics and finance, economics of innovation, innovation and technology, economics of innovation, innovation policy, knowledge management


Elias G. Carayannis, Aris Kaloudis and Åge Mariussen In modern research and innovation policies there is a recurrent issue that clearly is purely understood and difficult to grasp, namely the issue of how to address the variety and heterogeneity of knowledge systems. Our understanding of causes and effects of this variety is still very poor. This is true at all levels of analysis, the micro (firm level), meso (regional, sectoral, institutional) level as well as the macro (national and global) level. This book attempts to bring the analysis a step further conceptually and analytically. CONCEPT OUTLINE System theories address complex phenomena often characterized by heterogeneity. Heterogeneity is the quality of being diverse and not comparable in kind (Webster’s Dictionary). It is useful to remember the Greek etymological roots of the word to mean literally ‘possessing different genes’. Darwin and his followers have extensively analysed how micro-level genetic heterogeneity, mediated by processes of selection, has created varieties of species co-existing, co-evolving and co-specializing in natural ecosystems, thus feeding back into new combinations and recombinations of genes. However, as forcefully argued by Helge Godø in Chapter 2 the evolution of the knowledge economy and society cannot be understood simply through loose ad hoc metaphors to ecologies in nature. Instead, this book develops basic building blocks of a new understanding of how heterogeneity, selection and diversity as properties of knowledge systems explain how entrepreneurship and innovation work. The key message of the book is that heterogeneity and diversity should be...