Edited by Philip Cooke, Bjørn Asheim, Ron Boschma, Ron Martin, Dafna Schwartz and Franz Tödtling
Philip Cooke and Arne Eriksson INTRODUCTION It is commonplace in innovation studies to reference the shift in the predominant approach to innovation practice and theory from a traditional linear to a more recent interactive model. The critique of the linear model probably began with Kline and Rosenberg (1986) although it was clear that their ‘cascade’ model of supply chain interactions only captured an aspect of the non-linear nature of innovation at that time. It was Lundvall (1988, 1992) who examined the importance of user–producer innovation interactions more generally, and set the scene for a new, more sociologically nuanced approach centred on the concept of interactive learning, and finally (Lundvall and Johnson, 1994) the learning economy. The last broad concept recognized that one of the reasons why the linear model of innovation was withering on the vine was because of a transition then beginning in economic affairs more widely. This was the onset of what they called ‘knowledge society’ in which firm and individual competence at learning would determine the competitive advantage of nations. The need to revitalize learning in the economy was much influenced by the global rise of information and communication technologies (ICTs) and later the Internet in economic, social and political life. Accordingly, much retooling of worker skills was implied, academics having been among the first to have to do this as many were intensive users of computer power, e-mail and digital media more generally. However, the ‘interactive’ perception of innovation (also highlighted by Nelson, 1993 and...
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