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Maryann Feldman and Nichola Lowe

This chapter synthesizes our prior work that examines the role of governance in creating place-specific advantages. We define governance as the interactive process of building consensus to solve a collective problem. Thus, governance creates social norms and institutions that may responsibly advance place-specific advantage. Through this process, conditions are created that generate interest and expertise around a local industry, putting the “secrets” of the industry into the air of public conversation.

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Deborah Dougherty

While generating streams of new products and services is central to the ongoing viability of many organizations, organizations continue to struggle to become innovative. One reason for the lack of organizational innovativeness is that conventional managerial approaches do not properly incorporate the actual work of innovation processes. The practice perspective explains both how to include the actual work process in innovation and how to organize innovation across the firm. In the practice perspective, knowledge is an ongoing process that is embedded in what people do at work. When work is understood as practice, jobs embody the means and ends of work, practical wisdom, and rich, socially embedded know-how. This chapter first describes the work roles, learning processes, and basic nature of innovation work, and adds the challenges of complex innovation. Then it explains how conventional managing prohibits or diverts the actual work of innovation. How the practice perspective enables people to carry out the process of innovation is detailed next. The practice perspective further identifies fundamental organizing principles for differentiating, integrating, and controlling the work of innovation across all the departments and workers in the firm.

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Leonardo Avritzer

The chapter is built on the difference between judicial innovation and democratic innovation, arguing that very few among these new judicial formats are participatory in nature. In all cases, especially those related to the Supreme Court and Ministério Público, the innovation was dependent upon the initiative of professional or corporate entities. In the end, the dependence of innovation on these entities reveals a risk to the use of innovation: is judicial innovation narrowing democracy or deepening democracy? In the chapter the author explains the role of the Brazilian Supreme Court and the Ministério Público in the process of judicial innovation, in particular those innovations occurring in Brazil during the past decade. He also contrasts judicial innovation in Colombia with that in Brazil, focusing on the political dangers of judicial innovation but not disregarding the merits of successful cases of judicial innovation. He also shows in Chapter 5 that the Colombian case is more successful than the Brazilian and as a consequence does not allow us to rule out judicial innovation altogether.

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Arnoud Lagendijk

For half a century regions have been presented as engines and cradles of innovation. This chapter reviews the prolific development of academic concepts and logics and policy rationales dealing with this phenomenon. The review is based on a relational perspective, focusing on the role of vehicular ideas and unique regional development trajectories in nurturing (the image of) innovative regions. The core ideas are ‘new industrial spaces’, ‘territorial innovation models’ and ‘smart specialization’. This brings home two key contrasting points. On the one hand, regions are not only engines of innovation, but certain regions, notably those of an ‘outlier’ type, are the cradle of the very mechanisms of place-based innovation that shape such engines. On the other hand, too much emphasis on regions as innovation engines may result in a double trap, namely an economic ‘trap of endogeneity’ and a political ‘territorial trap’. Overcoming these traps still poses a major challenge.

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Francesca Golfetto and Diego Rinallo

Concertation is a process that allows firms (particularly small and medium-sized enterprises) to effectively cooperate in developing dominant product designs and styles. Concertation is centered on the activities of trade shows that provide a platform for collective action by providing the participating actors with commercial and promotional benefits. Like standard-setting committees, these collective marketing events may be understood as commercialization networks that, especially in the context of fragmented industries, are able to mobilize and coordinate a great number of competing firms’ individual innovative efforts towards common trajectories. Specifically, we present the case of Première Vision, Europe’s leading clothing fabric trade show. After a background description of the key features of innovation processes in the clothing textile industry, we describe Première Vision and analyze the concertation process, as well as the key actors involved in each of its phases. We conclude by discussing the contextual characteristics that make concertation processes possible and highlight our contributions to the literature on innovation and standard affirmation.

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Dominique Foray

Historically we observe two routes that coexist to translate ‘useful knowledge’ that is produced and absorbed into the wealth of nations. In the first route, knowledge is a wealth factor by dint of its capacity to generate technological achievements in certain strategic domains, which allows the states to strengthen their security, energy independence and prestige. In the second route, knowledge is a wealth factor by dint of its capacity to allow commercial innovation. This chapter is devoted to development of this framework to explain what innovation is not in order to gain a better understanding of its intrinsic nature. Technological achievement is essentially based on scientific and technological inventions and discoveries. Our societies have realised extraordinary technological achievements throughout the ages: pyramids and fortifications, temples and cathedrals, Sputnik and Apollo. Unlike technological achievement, innovation is essentially economic. It is the result of an economic discovery procedure, and it is its adoption in the commercial sphere that qualifies it as innovation. In this chapter this distinction will be developed and deployed, particularly in order to understand the difficulties experienced by certain countries to adapt to the new challenges posed by the world economy.

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Johannes Glückler and Harald Bathelt

This chapter explores the interrelations between institutions, defined as stabilized interaction patterns, and innovation, since successful innovation rests on the design of institutional contexts and since inconsistent institutional contexts constrain or even impede successful innovation. Such situations require processes of adjusting innovations to the institutional context (robust design), circumventing resistant institutional contexts (peripheral dominance), or creating new institutional contexts that fit the innovation process (institutional entrepreneurship). The chapter criticizes studies that focus on formal legislation and regulation as indicators of national institutional variety, while neglecting institutional practices and how these also differ at the sub-national level. From a relational perspective, supportive innovation policies need to respond to geographically and temporally varying institutional contexts even within a single legal and regulatory regime. It is argued that policy needs to understand the interrelationships between institutional practices and innovation, rather than viewing rules and regulations as determinants of innovation outcomes.

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Nina Geilinger, Stefan Haefliger, Georg von Krogh and Fotini Pachidou

The problem of interest in this exploratory study is the emergence of innovative practices for the treatment of Alzheimer’s Disease (AD). Since there is little prior research on what specific activities are needed to introduce and sustain new practices in complex healthcare fields, we compare three cases of non-pharmacological AD treatment practices in Switzerland. In the first case, no radically new practices were introduced and only minimal change was intended. In the second case, a new referral and consultation process was initiated, and the change was symbolically endorsed but not fully implemented in practice and therefore was decoupled from recommendations by policy makers. In the third case, the change initiator targeted divergent change in AD treatment. He developed a new virtual reality game for early diagnosis and delay of AD symptoms, won a social enterprise fellowship and secured financing by business and philanthropic actors, thereby mobilizing new allies in the field of AD treatment. We find that active participation in vision creation, the acquisition of allies, and resource mobilization are crucial to the success of divergent change initiations. Based on the results, some preliminary policy and managerial implications are offered.

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Introduction: The theory of institutional innovation – an overview

Promises and Limits of Democratic Participation in Latin America

Leonardo Avritzer

The introduction of the book discusses the state of the art of the theory of institutional innovation and discusses the main theme of the book in the following terms: because there are good reasons to promote innovation but also to stick with a democratic core of norms without which democracy itself may be endangered, the key question is: how can we learn to separate the positive from the negative elements of institutional innovation?

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Gernot Grabher and Oliver Ibert

This chapter is concerned with two widely shared misunderstandings related to the notion of virtual knowledge creation. First, virtual is often associated or even equated with immateriality. As a consequence, virtual knowledge collaboration is mainly seen as a viable option in digital knowledge domains but not in more traditional fields. Second, “virtual” is often understood as being derived from the “real”. Virtual interaction thus is treated as a deficient substitute for face-to-face interaction. Against this background we use data obtained from netnography undertaken in nine virtual hybrid communities to explore more systematically the material preconditions of virtual knowledge collaboration. We also specify specific benefits of distanciated relations in knowledge collaboration that so far have been understated or overlooked. Our findings demonstrate that the social cohesion of virtual communities is partly enhanced through organized forms of co-presence and that online knowledge collaboration is embedded in material offline environments. Of course, collaboration in virtual hybrid communities lacks the media richness and the entire spectrum of non-verbal cues through which face-to-face encounters ease mutual understanding. Yet distinct features of online interaction, such as quasi-anonymity, asynchronicity and virtual memory do provide unique opportunities for collaboration unattainable in classical face-to-face contexts.