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The Challenge of Combinatorial Knowledge Dynamics to Study of Institutions, Towards an Actor-centric Bottom-up View of Institutions

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  • Sotarauta, Markku

    () (University of Tampere, School of Management)

Abstract

This paper argues that obstruction of agency, intention and interest is a weakness in institutional studies in geography. There is a need to systematically anchor a role for agency in institutionally oriented combinatorial knowledge dynamics studies, and thus to reach beyond snapshots of top-down institutions, and to produce a more nuanced view on institutions bottom up. Without in-depth studies on how actors perceive institutions, reflect upon them and either comply with them or aim to push for institutional change, it may impossible to fully understand the true impact of them. The aim here is to construct a link between agency and institutions in the context of combinatorial knowledge dynamics. To elaborate the conceptual link between institutions and combinatorial knowledge dynamics, this paper discusses three intertwined theoretical lenses. First, a conceptual distinction between cumulative and combinatorial knowledge dynamics is introduced; second, the basic tenets of institutions in regional economic development are discussed; and, third, a conceptual framework to study institutions in the context of combinatorial knowledge dynamics is constructed. The main scientific motivation here is to open a bottom-up view on institutions by linking them to the combinatorial knowledge dynamics approach by using agency as an intermediating framework.

Suggested Citation

  • Sotarauta, Markku, 2015. "The Challenge of Combinatorial Knowledge Dynamics to Study of Institutions, Towards an Actor-centric Bottom-up View of Institutions," Papers in Innovation Studies 2015/5, Lund University, CIRCLE - Center for Innovation, Research and Competences in the Learning Economy.
  • Handle: RePEc:hhs:lucirc:2015_005
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    File URL: http://wp.circle.lu.se/upload/CIRCLE/workingpapers/201505_Sotarauta.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Markus Grillitsch & Bjørn T. Asheim, 2017. "Cluster policy: Renewal through the integration of institutional variety," Chapters,in: The Life Cycle of Clusters, chapter 4, pages 76-94 Edward Elgar Publishing.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Institution; agency; knowledge base; combinatorial knowledge; institutional entrepreneurship;

    JEL classification:

    • B52 - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology - - Current Heterodox Approaches - - - Historical; Institutional; Evolutionary
    • O30 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - General
    • O38 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Government Policy
    • O43 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity - - - Institutions and Growth
    • R11 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - General Regional Economics - - - Regional Economic Activity: Growth, Development, Environmental Issues, and Changes
    • R50 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Regional Government Analysis - - - General

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