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 44: Learning through governance

Neil Bradford and David A. Wolfe

Abstract

Innovation in the knowledge-based economy is a complex, multifaceted process, one that challenges actors from government, business, education and communities to adapt through collaboration and learning. This chapter argues that it is the social characteristics that underlie the innovation process itself and the broader political arrangements and policy mechanisms that condition change and enable success. Rather than looking narrowly at economic institutions or state regulations, this perspective emphasizes the governance relations among firms, across sectors and between economic actors and governments. The concept of the “innovation system” captures the crucial role that knowledge plays in the economy and the importance of collaboration through institutional processes of social and policy learning operating at multiple geographic scales from the local to the supranational. Better understanding of the role that knowledge plays in the economy, coupled with new insights into governance and learning models, provides a framework to assess the alignment of public, private and community resources supporting innovation. Surveying processes of economic transformation underway in many local and regional innovation systems across OECD countries, the chapter offers ideas for strengthening knowledge platforms in the economy, community and government.

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