Scandinavian Working Papers in Economics

Papers in Innovation Studies,
Lund University, CIRCLE - Center for Innovation, Research and Competences in the Learning Economy

No 2017/2: Transformation Capacity of the Innovative Entrepreneur: On the interplay between social structure and agency

Markus Grillitsch ()
Additional contact information
Markus Grillitsch: Department of Human Geography & CIRCLE, Postal: Lund University, PO Box 117, SE-22100 Lund, Sweden

Abstract: Structural change features prominently in public policy and scientific debates. While a large body of work is concerned with barriers to structural change, this paper focusses on the interplay between structure and agency by focussing on the transformation capacity of innovative entrepreneurs. Transformation capacity is defined as the ability to combine knowledge and resources across different social structures and stimulate institutional change. The paper discusses why and to what extent transformation capacity rests on three key mechanisms: multiple positions, positional mobility, and networks across social structures. The paper elaborates on potential unintended consequences and pre-conditions for transformation capacity.

Keywords: innovation systems; entrepreneurship; radical innovation; structural change; system innovation; institutions

JEL-codes: L16; O30; R10

21 pages, February 17, 2017

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