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Extending and Deepening the Analysis of Innovation Systems - with Empirical Illustrations from the DISCO-project

  • Bengt-Åke Lundvall
  • Jesper Lindgaard Christensen

Traditionally innovation system have been analysed either as rooted in the R&Dsystem or the production system. This paper suggests a broader approach to national innovation systems and analyse these as rooted in constellation of a national production structure and human resource development institutions. The argument is linked both to the literature on innovation systems and an empirical account of the Danish innovation system (the DISKO-project) and the economy in general. It is argued that change of the innovation and production system is difficult without a reform of the human resource development system as the dynamics of these two dimensions are closely connected. Results from the DISKO-project are used to illustrate the new analytical and political issues emanating from such a shift in perspective. On the one hand it is shown that the general economic climate in terms of the transformation pressure and the intensity of competition has a major impact on what the firm does in terms of technical innovation and organisational change. On the other hand it is demonstrated how the behaviour of individual firms affect aggregate employment and specifically the employment opportunities of unskilled workers. It is argued that the broader approach to the analysis of innovation systems also calls for a broader policy approach. Innovation is affected by other types of policy than industrial policy and a sharp division between macro-economic and competition policy on the one hand and education, labour market and innovation policy on the other hand is shown to be problematic.

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Paper provided by DRUID, Copenhagen Business School, Department of Industrial Economics and Strategy/Aalborg University, Department of Business Studies in its series DRUID Working Papers with number 99-12.

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Date of creation: 1999
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Handle: RePEc:aal:abbswp:99-12
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.druid.dk/

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  1. Alice Lam, 1998. "Tacit Knowledge, Organisational Learning and Innovation A Societal Perspective," DRUID Working Papers 98-22, DRUID, Copenhagen Business School, Department of Industrial Economics and Strategy/Aalborg University, Department of Business Studies.
  2. Allan Næs Gjerding, 1996. "Organisational Innovation in the Danish Private Business Sector," DRUID Working Papers 96-16, DRUID, Copenhagen Business School, Department of Industrial Economics and Strategy/Aalborg University, Department of Business Studies.
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