Edited by Benson Honig, Joseph Lampel and Israel Drori
Chapter 5: Connecting regional ingenuity to firm innovation: the role of social capital
This chapter discusses ingenuity from a regional perspective. We propose the concept of regional ingenuity or the presence in a given region of people with 'the ability to create innovative solutions within structural constraints using limited resources and imaginative problem solving' (Lampel et al., 2011: 584). Thus, we relate regional ingenuity to firm innovation. We draw on the regional creativity literature which recognizes that creativity - considered as the presence of skilled and talented individuals in the region - affects the production of local knowledge (Florida, 2002). This chapter contributes to this literature by discussing how regional ingenuity can promote firm innovation. The literature on creativity recognizes that skilled and talented individuals contribute to the production of local knowledge (Florida, 2002), thus, their presence in the region may favour firm innovation. This literature emphasizes that the presence of such constraints as rules or boundaries can hamper creativity (Lampel et al., 2011). Creativity is associated with the idea of freedom. However, individuals involved in creating innovative solutions have to overcome several barriers. Individuals with ingenuity are able to produce innovative solutions with the use of limited resources and by applying imaginative problem solving (Lampel et al., 2011). This chapter investigates the idea of regional ingenuity to demonstrate the relationship between ingenuity and firm innovation in a geographically bounded area. The investigation in this chapter complements analysis of how ingenuity affects firm innovation by examining a possible enabling contingency that might help to explain how ingenuity affects innovation.
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