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Layers of co-existing innovation systems

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  • Meuer, Johannes
  • Rupietta, Christian
  • Backes-Gellner, Uschi

Abstract

The innovation systems approach, which has taken a prominent position in the academic literature, has also influenced policy-makers around the globe. Most research analyses innovation systems taking a national, regional or sectoral perspective, following a ‘technological imperative’. Yet changes in institutional conditions and the importance of non-technological innovation question the accuracy and the relevance of the existing boundaries of innovation systems. These developments ask for a better understanding of how innovation systems integrate within and across different levels. Drawing on a novel combination of configurational and econometric analysis, we analyse 384 Swiss firms and identify five co-existing innovation systems: two generic innovation systems, the autarkic and the knowledge-internalisation; one regional innovation system, the protected hierarchy; and two sectoral innovation systems, the public sciences and the organised learning. The generic innovation systems entail the ‘Science, Technology and Innovation’ (STI) and the ‘Doing, Interacting and Using’ (DUI) learning modes. These systems are structurally distinct and do not integrate. In contrast, all regional and sectoral innovation systems integrate the learning modes of the generic innovation systems and complement them with idiosyncratic elements. The perspective on co-existing innovation systems that we develop here indicates the existence of two layers of innovation systems: a ‘central’ layer that hosts generic innovation systems and that constitutes the foundation for a second ‘surface' layer that hosts regional and sectoral innovation systems. We discuss the implications of layers of co-existing innovation systems for policy-makers and future research.

Suggested Citation

  • Meuer, Johannes & Rupietta, Christian & Backes-Gellner, Uschi, 2015. "Layers of co-existing innovation systems," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 44(4), pages 888-910.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:respol:v:44:y:2015:i:4:p:888-910
    DOI: 10.1016/j.respol.2015.01.013
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    Cited by:

    1. Beck, Mathias & Lopes-Bento, Cindy & Schenker-Wicki, Andrea, 2016. "Radical or incremental: Where does R&D policy hit?," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 45(4), pages 869-883.
    2. Uschi Backes-Gellner & Marlies Kluike & Kerstin Pull & Martin R. Schneider & Silvia Teuber, 2016. "Human resource management and radical innovation: a fuzzy-set QCA of US multinationals in Germany, Switzerland, and the UK," Journal of Business Economics, Springer, vol. 86(7), pages 751-772, October.
    3. Christian Rupietta & Harald Pfeifer & Uschi Backes-Gellner, 2017. "Firms' knowledge acquisition during dual-track VET: Which sources are important for innovativeness?," Economics of Education Working Paper Series 0131, University of Zurich, Department of Business Administration (IBW).
    4. Antonios Karatzas & Mark Johnson & Marko Bastl, 2016. "Relationship Determinants of Performance in Service Triads: A Configurational Approach," Journal of Supply Chain Management, Institute for Supply Management, vol. 52(3), pages 28-47, July.
    5. repec:spr:qualqt:v:51:y:2017:i:5:d:10.1007_s11135-016-0397-z is not listed on IDEAS
    6. Christian Rupietta & Johannes Meuer & Uschi Backes-Gellner, 2018. "How hybrid change agents moderate innovation complementarities," Economics of Education Working Paper Series 0145, University of Zurich, Department of Business Administration (IBW).

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