This article examines the concept of brokerage models of innovation. It discusses the principles of brokerage theories and explains that while traditional models of innovation focus on the generation of novel solutions, brokerage theories focus on how managers recognize and recombine existing resources. Brokerage models of innovation also highlight how organizations are embedded within larger field landscapes and how managerial strategies, structures, and actions aimed at innovation will be enabled or constrained by the institutional dynamics unfolding at these larger levels. This article also highlights the innovation lessons from Thomas Edison, Elmer Sperry, and Design Continuum.
Innovation is an expensive process; significant resources must be expended to initiate, direct, and sustain it. It is a process that takes time which means that the resources that support it must be committed until the process is complete. According to this article, contemporary economists of innovation have largely neglected the relationship between finance and innovation. This article notes that empirical research has not kept pace with theoretical developments and the evidence that does exist, even on basic propositions, is often ambiguous. Furthermore, this article points to serious limitations associated with the dominant analytical approaches employed in micro- and macroeconomic research on finance for analyzing the dynamics of economic change. In closing, it draws attention to some crucial questions that need to be addressed in new research on finance and innovation.
Bjørn T. Asheim and Meric S. Gertler
The process of knowledge production exhibits a very distinctive geography. This article argues that this geography is fundamental, not incidental, to the innovation process itself: that one simply cannot understand innovation properly if one does not appreciate the central role of spatial proximity and concentration in this process. The goal of this article is to demonstrate why this is true, and to examine how innovation systems at the subnational scale play a key part in producing and reproducing this uneven geography over time. This article addresses four key issues. First, it looks at the reason why location matters when it comes to innovative activity. Second, it turns to examine regional innovation systems, and the role played by them in generating and circulating new knowledge leading to innovation. Third, the article considers the relationship between regional systems of innovation and institutional frameworks at the national level. Finally, the relationship between local and global knowledge flows is examined.
Economic history addresses the issue of the way in which the record of economic growth is related to historical developments. This article argues that technological and organizational innovation are responsible for this lengthy period of gradually accelerating growth. Although this argument is appealing, in fact economic theories explaining any such relationship are far from straightforward. Growth theory is a field characterized by spirited scholarly debate. An important current debate is that between the evolutionary approach and the more neoclassically inspired “endogenous growth theory”. This article argues that the gap between these two approaches is rooted in fundamental differences in their basic worldviews. While the neoclassical tradition adheres to a worldview in which cause and effect are clearly separable, and growth is a steady state phenomenon, the evolutionary worldview is one of historical circumstances, complex causal mechanisms, and, turbulent growth patterns that appear to be far from a steady state.
The relationship between innovation and employment is a complex one and has long been a topical issue in economic theory. The literature on innovation and employment has addressed different research questions rooted in several streams of research. This article examines the enormous body of scholarly research on this topic within the advanced economies. First, the various different perspectives, the scope, and types of innovations are considered, identifying the different employment effects they may have. Second, effects on the quantity of employment are reviewed at the firm, industry, and macroeconomic level. Third, changes in the quality of employment are examined, considering the effects on skills and wages, and the impact of organizational innovation, again at different levels of analysis. Finally, this article presents a summary of stylized facts with a discussion of future research issues.
This article briefly discusses the previous literature on differences across sectors in innovation and then puts forward the concept of sectoral systems of innovation. It also discusses the basic building blocks of sectoral systems: knowledge, technological domains, and sectoral boundaries; actors, relationships, and networks; and institutions. Furthermore, this article examines the dynamics and transformation of sectoral systems. Finally, it discusses some policy implications and the challenges ahead. This article looks at a large number of sectors that are highly innovative and technologically advanced and have strong links with science, which nevertheless organize innovation very differently: computers, semiconductors, telecommunication equipment and services, software, chemicals, pharmaceuticals and biotechnology, and machine tools. The role of innovation in the dynamics and transformation of these sectors is highly diverse.
Bruce S. Tether
Especially in advanced economies, services increasingly dominate economic output and employment, and even manufacturing firms typically provide multiple services. But services are different from physical and digital products. Innovation processes therefore need to adjust to, and take account of, the specific characteristics of services, not least their intangible and highly perishable nature. Much less is known about new service development than the management of (physical and digital) product innovation, but the literature is growing rapidly. Drawing on conceptual understandings, but illustrated with real world examples, this article provides an overview of these matters, and focuses especially on four issues: what services are; forms of service innovation; the design of services (including service blueprinting); and the management of service innovation. It also highlights some areas requiring further research.