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Innovation Policy in a Networked World

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  • Olav Sorenson

Abstract

Social relationships channel information, influence, and access to scarce resources. As a consequence, social networks – the patterns of these relationships across the members of a community – influence who comes up with important innovations, whether and how rapidly those innovations get adopted, and who has the ability to commercialize them. They therefore also affect the overall rate at which innovation occurs in the economy. This essay provides an introduction to and review of the research on social networks most relevant to innovation, with a particular focus on the earliest stages of the innovation process. It then discusses the likely consequences of a variety of policy interventions that could either reduce the importance of social relationships to innovation or alter the patterns of relationships in ways that might promote innovation.

Suggested Citation

  • Olav Sorenson, 2017. "Innovation Policy in a Networked World," NBER Working Papers 23431, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:23431
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Lee Fleming & David M. Waguespack, 2007. "Brokerage, Boundary Spanning, and Leadership in Open Innovation Communities," Organization Science, INFORMS, vol. 18(2), pages 165-180, April.
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    Cited by:

    1. repec:kap:sbusec:v:51:y:2018:i:3:d:10.1007_s11187-018-0075-8 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Massimo FLORIO & Francesco GIFFONI, 2019. "L’impatto sociale della produzione di scienza su larga scala: come governarlo?," Departmental Working Papers 2019-05, Department of Economics, Management and Quantitative Methods at Università degli Studi di Milano.
    3. repec:eee:jeeman:v:91:y:2018:i:c:p:1-25 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • O31 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Innovation and Invention: Processes and Incentives
    • O32 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Management of Technological Innovation and R&D
    • Z13 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics - - - Economic Sociology; Economic Anthropology; Language; Social and Economic Stratification

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