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 38: Innovation and entrepreneurship

Edward J. Malecki and Ben Spigel


We follow Schumpeter in attributing to entrepreneurs the spark to bring new combinations to market by combining knowledge, perceived opportunity, and other resources to form new firms. A link between innovation and entrepreneurship was first seen in new firms exploiting new technologies in high-technology regions. This context set the tone for research, which we explore in this chapter. We identify four topics: entrepreneurship in high-tech contexts, spinoffs from university research, the local/regional ecosystem or innovation system, and flows of knowledge within social and professional networks. Underlying these four attributes of high-tech innovation are cultural outlooks and orientations. Without an understanding of how culture influences entrepreneurial and innovative activities, it is difficult to study their relationship with the cultural contexts in which they take place. Building on a nexus-based view of innovation and entrepreneurship, we argue that culture is best understood as a process through which actors interpret the world around them and which can either encourage or discourage entrepreneurial and innovative activity.

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