Scandinavian Working Papers in Economics

Papers in Innovation Studies,
Lund University, CIRCLE - Center for Innovation Research

No 2020/11: Towards a holistic user innovation policy

Lars Bengtsson () and Charles Edquist ()
Additional contact information
Lars Bengtsson: Division of Innovation Engineering, LTH, Lund University, Postal: Sweden
Charles Edquist: CIRCLE, Lund University, Postal: CIRCLE, Lund University, PO Box 117, SE-22100 Lund, Sweden

Abstract: This paper aims to synthesize previous user innovation policy proposals into an adapted systems of innovation framework, on which a holistic user innovation policy for the household sector can be based. We identify and review policy proposals made by user innovation researchers and categorize them according to ten key activities in the systems of innovation framework. In the review of 22 publications with policy proposals on user innovation, we find that the publications lack an integrating innovation policy framework. Most of them limit their policy proposals to a few policy activities, i.e., the innovation policy proposals are partial and mono-causal. In contrast to the linear view of the innovation process, user innovation researchers predominantly adopt an institutional view of the innovation process. Based on a systems of innovation framework, we propose a holistic innovation policy framework adapted to user innovation in the household sector. It is centered on ten key activities and policy instruments related to them. Our proposals effectively provide policy development support to policy researchers, policymakers, and politicians stressing the multi-causal and non-linear features of the user innovation process.

Keywords: User innovation; household sector; systems of innovation; innovation policy; holistic innovation policy

JEL-codes: L50; O31; O32; O33; O38; O39

33 pages, November 10, 2020

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