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Leadership and management in the development of regional innovation environments

Listed author(s):
  • Sotarauta, Markku


  • Viljamaa, Kimmo


It has been observed that the regional innovation environment (RIE) affects the innovation activities in firms. Studies focusing on innovation systems have increased our understanding of the interaction between the main actors that participate in the innovation activities and the systemic nature of these interdependent relationships. In addition to that the roles and functions of various organizations are now better identified and understood than earlier. The assumption here is that in the future the ability to manage the birth and development of regional innovation environments will become more important; the importance of leadership has always been central in the development of RIEs, but the point of departure here is that it will become even more important in the network society. The nature of power and influence is changing, affecting also the nature of leadership. Therefore the ability to understand the dynamic nature of different innovation environments, management and leadership may turn out to be crucial in the development of RIEs, as the structures and visible elements (structures, institutions etc.) do not always have significant differences between regions. Leadership and management in the creation and development of RIE differ in nature from conventional modes of leadership, because the means to influence are mainly indirect. In practice, influence builds on different forms of power, but first and foremost, on interaction and social skills. In order to be able to influence events, leaders have to act in the riptide of several different interests and aims, and find a totally new range of means that can be applied in different events. Processes can be lead for instance by creating new institutions, by creating and renewing interpretations that guide the practices of different people, by activating new actors in the networks and by improving the quality of interaction in the policy process. In order to be able to influence events, leaders have to act in the riptide of several different interests and aims, and find a totally new range of means that can be applied in different events. The objective of this paper is to identify conceptually the characteristics of leadership and management in the creation and development of innovation environment - in other words: how to manage the process between several organizations with different competencies in order to support innovation.

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Paper provided by European Regional Science Association in its series ERSA conference papers with number ersa02p071.

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Date of creation: Aug 2002
Handle: RePEc:wiw:wiwrsa:ersa02p071
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  1. Peter Maskell, 1996. "Learning in the Village Economy of Denmark. The role of Institutions and Policy in Sustaining Competitiveness," DRUID Working Papers 96-6, DRUID, Copenhagen Business School, Department of Industrial Economics and Strategy/Aalborg University, Department of Business Studies.
  2. Arne Isaksen & Bjørn T. Asheim, "undated". "Location, agglomeration and innovation: Towards regional innovation systems in Norway?," STEP Report series 199613, The STEP Group, Studies in technology, innovation and economic policy.
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