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Regional ICT Innovation in the European Union: Prioritization and Performance (2008–2012)

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  • Alexander Kleibrink

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  • Björn Niehaves
  • Pau Palop
  • Jens Sörvik
  • Basanta Thapa

Abstract

In the current programming period, European Union (EU) regions and member states that want to use European Regional Development Funds (ERDF) are required to develop innovation strategies for smart specialization (RIS3) based on the idea of rational strategic management. In order to explore the relationship between strategic policy design and policy performance, this article maps regional strategies for information and communication technologies (ICT) and their effects in the period 2008–2012. Furthermore, it generates suggestions for relevant case studies. We first conduct a quantitative analysis of the effects of ICT strategies and ERDF expenditure on regional ICT performance in Western European regions. ICT is a relevant priority for many regions, and it reflects EU priorities fostering ICT activities through regional development funds. Second, we propose a framework to categorize EU regions in the context of ICT policy based on the expected distribution of regional ICT performance. Our analysis covers 97 regions in 9 EU member states, out of which 29 have had a dedicated ICT strategy. In line with ideas of rational strategic management, our working hypothesis states that regions with a dedicated strategy should display better performance. However, our findings suggest that having a dedicated ICT strategy has not had a clear effect on performance in terms of Internet and broadband access, while allocating dedicated ERDF and other expenditure to Internet infrastructure has had a positive effect. At first sight, this questions the effectiveness of rational strategic management. Yet, more research is needed to assess the quality of ICT strategies and their fit with broader innovation agendas. It is indeed the degree of embeddedness of ICT in the regional innovation ecosystem that is likely to condition the effect of strategies on performance. To this end, our mapping indicates interesting case studies, and we suggest additional factors to be taken into account in future analyses. New insights into strategy design and performance will also be important to inform the implementation of the new generation of innovation strategies for smart specialization. Copyright The Author(s) 2015

Suggested Citation

  • Alexander Kleibrink & Björn Niehaves & Pau Palop & Jens Sörvik & Basanta Thapa, 2015. "Regional ICT Innovation in the European Union: Prioritization and Performance (2008–2012)," Journal of the Knowledge Economy, Springer;Portland International Center for Management of Engineering and Technology (PICMET), vol. 6(2), pages 320-333, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:jknowl:v:6:y:2015:i:2:p:320-333
    DOI: 10.1007/s13132-015-0240-0
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Kitschelt, Herbert, 1991. "Industrial governance structures, innovation strategies, and the case of Japan: sectoral or cross-national comparative analysis?," International Organization, Cambridge University Press, vol. 45(4), pages 453-493, October.
    2. Henry Mintzberg, 1978. "Patterns in Strategy Formation," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 24(9), pages 934-948, May.
    3. Gordon Dabinett, 2001. "EU Mainstreaming of the Information Society in Regional Development Policy," Regional Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 35(2), pages 168-173.
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    Cited by:

    1. Simplice A. Asongu & Jacinta C. Nwachukwu, 2019. "ICT, Financial Sector Development and Financial Access," Journal of the Knowledge Economy, Springer;Portland International Center for Management of Engineering and Technology (PICMET), vol. 10(2), pages 465-490, June.
    2. Simplice A. Asongu & Ndemaze Asongu, 2019. "The Role of Mobile Phones in Governance-Driven Technology Exports in Sub-Saharan Africa," Journal of the Knowledge Economy, Springer;Portland International Center for Management of Engineering and Technology (PICMET), vol. 10(2), pages 849-867, June.

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