The Elgar Companion to Innovation and Knowledge Creation
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The Elgar Companion to Innovation and Knowledge Creation

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).
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Chapter 8: Institutional context and innovation

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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