Scandinavian Working Papers in Economics

Working Paper Series in Economics and Institutions of Innovation,
Royal Institute of Technology, CESIS - Centre of Excellence for Science and Innovation Studies

No 124: How can we Study Innovation Systems? - introducing an actor-centralised perspective

Anders Broström ()
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Anders Broström: CESIS - Centre of Excellence for Science and Innovation Studies, Royal Institute of Technology, Postal: CESIS - Centre of Excellence for Science and Innovation Studies, Royal Institute of Technology, SE-100 44 Stockholm, Sweden

Abstract: The systems of innovation approach has helped advocating a view on innovation as dependent on the interaction over time between different actors and brought the role of institutions to the center of interest. However, the approach has remained a general framework rather than evolved into an analytical tool for the study of the dynamics of innovation activities. In this discussion paper, we introduce the concept of innovation system services, defined as the set of factors that have a significant potential influence on the opportunities of a certain groups of actors to perform a certain type of activities efficiently. We suggest that the relevant innovation system for the actors-activities nexus at hand can be defined as this set of system services. We examine this analytical framework in a case study on R&D investments of multinational enterprises in Sweden. In this context, innovation system services are defined as the set of external factors that the case study suggests to have significant impact on the decisions of MNEs to invest in R&D in Sweden. The focus on services allows us to analyse the influence of an innovation system on the long-term development of R&D in Sweden in a structured and coherent manner and to identify critical dynamics.

Keywords: innovation systems; R&D collaboration; multinational enterprises; innovation in services

JEL-codes: D29; O31; O32

30 pages, April 2, 2008

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