Building Domestic Capabilities in a Global Setting
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Edited by Bengt-Åke Lundvall, K. J. Joseph, Cristina Chaminade and Jan Vang
Chapter 8: The Global Dimension of Innovation Systems: Linking Innovation Systems and Global Value Chains
Carlo Pietrobelli and Roberta Rabellotti 8.1 Introduction These days nobody would argue against the contention that learning and innovation are key determinants of competitiveness and growth of nations, regions and firms. Sometimes, more refined observers would stress that competitiveness is affected by firm-specific attitudes and actions together with the meso and macroeconomic contexts in which firms operate. In advanced countries, the concept of the National Innovation System (NIS), introduced by Freeman (1987), has accounted for the role played by the institutions (the rules of the game) and the organizations that systemically interact with and have an effect on the creation and diffusion of innovations in any national economic system. As has been discussed in the previous chapters of this volume, the most useful definition of innovation systems might not necessarily coincide with national borders, and therefore other concepts have been introduced, such as ‘technological systems’ (Carlsson and Stakiewicz, 1991), ‘regional innovation systems’ (Cooke, 1992) and ‘sectoral innovation systems’ (Breschi and Malerba, 1997). Moreover, in recent years it has increasingly been stressed that the innovation system approach needs to be enriched by the international dimension (Asheim and Herstad, 2005; Bunnell and Coe, 2001; Carlsson, 2006; Fromhold-Eisebith, 2007). The point made in these contributions is that the Innovation Systems (IS) literature has underemphasized the crucial impact of international information exchange and collaboration on the generation and diffusion of knowledge and innovation through different channels, as for example inter-firm, intra-firm and individual networks. In less developed countries (LDCs), the extra-national influences on the...
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