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Harald Bathelt and Sebastian Henn

This chapter discusses national (NIS) and regional innovation systems (RIS) as approaches that have been successfully applied since the 1980s to describe patterns of innovation and knowledge creation within specific territorial boundaries. However, as will be argued, the relationship between both approaches has received little attention in the literature and remains under-conceptualized. To address this deficit, we utilize the notion of the ‘social system’, which describes the capability of a system to constantly reproduce itself, and conceptualize NIS as systems that are able to define the boundaries between internal and external structures and to drive and sustain distinct internal innovation dynamics. In contrast, RIS do not routinely share these characteristics, as ‘normal regions’ do not have a sufficient localized economic base and/or governance capacity to establish self-referential innovation processes. While the NIS approach is a conceptual tool to analyze and understand the nature of innovation systems at the national level, the RIS approach is better understood as a normative political device to mobilize innovation in localized contexts.

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Sebastian Henn and Harald Bathelt

This chapter discusses how transnational entrepreneurs contribute to the global transfer of knowledge and initiate regional development processes. Transnational entrepreneurs are conceptualized as one type of diaspora entrepreneur who, unlike other types of entrepreneurs, set up highly competitive firms that rely in their day-to-day business on dense linkages between two or more locations. Being part of families or closed ethnic communities, these entrepreneurs are capable of developing trust-based networks that allow for fast and low-cost knowledge exchanges and knowledge generation processes at a worldwide scale. This generates important competitive advantages compared to firms that do not have such linkages. By presenting case studies of self-employed migrants in high-technology industries (so-called New Argonauts) and in the diamond sector, this chapter demonstrates that transnational entrepreneurs are an important phenomenon in different countries and industries with varying knowledge intensities, and can be analyzed at different scales.

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Max-Peter Menzel, Sebastian Henn and Dirk Fornahl

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Emerging Clusters

Theoretical, Empirical and Political Perspectives on the Initial Stage of Cluster Evolution

Edited by Dirk Fornahl, Sebastian Henn and Max-Peter Menzel

This book rigorously explores the critical, initial stage of cluster emergence in which the seeds for further growth are sown. Whether economic growth actually occurs, however, ultimately depends on various regional conditions and the processes in place.
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Edited by Harald Bathelt, Patrick Cohendet, Sebastian Henn and Laurent Simon

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Harald Bathelt, Patrick Cohendet, Sebastian Henn and Laurent Simon

This chapter provides an overview of major challenges and open questions in the field of innovation research. Eight areas of enquiry are identified that each correspond with one of the parts of the edited volume. The chapter begins by discussing the notion of innovation as a concept and then highlights the interrelationship between innovation and institutions, as well as the interdependence of innovation and creativity. This is followed by three parts that target innovation as a social process: innovation, networking and communities; innovation in permanent spatial settings; and innovation in temporary and virtual settings. Finally, the relationships between innovation, entrepreneurship and market making and wider issues regarding the governance and management of innovation are discussed, followed by some remarks about the unique characteristics of the edited volume.

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Edited by Harald Bathelt, Patrick Cohendet, Sebastian Henn and Laurent Simon

This unique Companion provides a comprehensive overview and critical evaluation of existing conceptualizations and new developments in innovation research. It draws on multiple perspectives of innovation, knowledge and creativity from economics, geography, history, management, political science and sociology. The Companion brings together leading scholars to reflect upon innovation as a concept (Part I), innovation and institutions (Part II), innovation and creativity (Part III), innovation, networking and communities (Part IV), innovation in permanent spatial settings (Part V), innovation in temporary, virtual and open settings (Part VI), innovation, entrepreneurship and market making (Part VII), and the governance and management of innovation (Part VIII).