The Genesis of Innovation

The Genesis of Innovation

Systemic Linkages Between Knowledge and the Market

New Horizons in the Economics of Innovation series

Edited by Blandine Laperche, Dimitri Uzunidis and G. N. von Tunzelmann

The genesis and diffusion of innovation depends upon the density of the cognitive and market relationships among individuals, organisations and institutions at both the micro- and macro-economic level. By addressing the nature of these relationships, which include cooperation, competition and power, this book presents an important and progressive enquiry into the economic and social origins of innovation.

Chapter 2: The Division of Scientific Labour and the Sharing of Knowledge

Marie-Pierre Bès

Subjects: economics and finance, economics of innovation, innovation and technology, economics of innovation


2. The division of scientific labour and the sharing of knowledge Marie-Pierre Bès In the 18th century, Adam Smith, upon witnessing the rise of the Industrial Revolution, explained that the division of industrial labour increased the global productivity of companies and thus led to the ‘Wealth of Nations’ through the integrated mechanization of production processes and its corollary, the specialization of tasks. Smith identified the savings of time from locating production on one site and from not having to move between sites as among the productivity gains from this specialization. At the beginning of the 21st century, investments in research and development and in intangible goods (training, software, patents, and so on) have been identified by political leaders and organizations (the OECD, for example) as well as endogenous growth theorists (Romer 1986) as one of the major sources of economic growth. It is now widely recognized that the performance of a national economy is the result of dense relationships between public and private investments. Of major significance within the ‘knowledge society’ perspective of an innovation system are the links between industry and science. This refers to such different types of interactions as startups, collaborative research, contract research, development of intellectual property rights. Nevertheless, the problem of the sharing of knowledge is mainly treated from the point of view of the balanced sharing of research results between ‘open science’ carried out mainly in public institutions (national research centres, universities) and ‘closed science’ carried out above...

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