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A failure trichotomy in knowledge exploration and exploitation

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  • Gustafsson, Robin
  • Autio, Erkko

Abstract

In this article, we review current rationales for policy intervention in innovative activities. Focusing particularly on market and system failure rationales, we disentangle related underlying mechanisms for knowledge exploration and exploitation. We provide a novel contribution to the system failure literature by distinguishing between system-level inertia and inhibited emergence. Our conceptualization of inhibited emergence draws on literatures related to neo-institutional sociology, the social construction of technology, and on organizational cognition and learning literatures, and it presents elemental socio-cognitive mechanisms that influence and direct knowledge exploration and exploitation in innovation systems. We compare related, yet theoretically distinct concepts of market failure, system-level inertia, and inhibited emergence, and show how each addresses distinct coordinative mechanisms and field-level dynamics and related socio-cognitive processes.

Suggested Citation

  • Gustafsson, Robin & Autio, Erkko, 2011. "A failure trichotomy in knowledge exploration and exploitation," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 40(6), pages 819-831, July.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:respol:v:40:y:2011:i:6:p:819-831
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    1. repec:bla:srbeha:v:34:y:2017:i:4:p:469-488 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Enrico Santarelli & Hien Tran, 2013. "The interplay of human and social capital in shaping entrepreneurial performance: the case of Vietnam," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 40(2), pages 435-458, February.
    3. Ben R. Martin, 2015. "R&D Policy Instruments: A Critical Review of What We Do & Don't Know," Working Papers wp476, Centre for Business Research, University of Cambridge.
    4. Janna Alvedalen & Ron Boschma, 2017. "A critical review of entrepreneurial ecosystems research: towards a future research agenda," European Planning Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 25(6), pages 887-903, June.
    5. Natalie Holden, 2015. "An exploration of interactive contextual and dispositional factors which influence a collective process of entrepreneurial activity: a novel case at Bristol Zoo," Working Papers 27, Birkbeck Centre for Innovation Management Research, revised Nov 2015.
    6. Zoltán J. Ács & Erkko Autio & László Szerb, 2015. "National Systems of Entrepreneurship: Measurement issues and policy implications," Chapters,in: Global Entrepreneurship, Institutions and Incentives, chapter 28, pages 523-541 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    7. Bianca Avram Ph. D Student & Prof. Stelian Brad Ph. D, 2015. "How Does Corruption Influence The Entrepreneurial Enviroment In Romania ?," Revista Tinerilor Economisti (The Young Economists Journal), University of Craiova, Faculty of Economics and Business Administration, vol. 1(25), pages 29-38, NOVEMBER.
    8. Smith, Simon & Ward, Vicky, 2015. "The role of boundary maintenance and blurring in a UK collaborative research project: How researchers and health service managers made sense of new ways of working," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 130(C), pages 225-233.
    9. Autio, Erkko & Kenney, Martin & Mustar, Philippe & Siegel, Don & Wright, Mike, 2014. "Entrepreneurial innovation: The importance of context," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 43(7), pages 1097-1108.
    10. repec:spr:joevec:v:27:y:2017:i:3:d:10.1007_s00191-017-0490-z is not listed on IDEAS
    11. van der Have, Robert P. & Rubalcaba, Luis, 2016. "Social innovation research: An emerging area of innovation studies?," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 45(9), pages 1923-1935.
    12. Yana Borissenko & Ron Boschma, 2016. "A critical review of entrepreneurial ecosystems: towards a future research agenda," Papers in Evolutionary Economic Geography (PEEG) 1630, Utrecht University, Department of Human Geography and Spatial Planning, Group Economic Geography, revised Nov 2016.

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