Mutual Adaptation and Technological Innovation
In evolutionary economics the firm is the sole locus of economic and technological change, and only little is said about the analytical importance of economic relationships. An emerging theme in the fields of economic sociology, however, is the idea that economic activities are embedded in social context. This paper unpacks the notion of embeddedness as a relational concept linking micro-behavior and macro-outcome and relates this to the ongoing discussions on technological innovation and the evolutionary dynamics of firms and industries. It discusses how firms to different degrees are embedded in economic relationships, and how this influences innovative activity (or economic activities more generally) though processes of mutual adaptation. Empirical examples of differently embedded firms in the Danish road haulage sector is put forth, and it is argued that the degree and type of embeddedness matters for innovative activity.
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