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Bottom-up development of innovation theory and policy
Luleå University of Technology, Department of Business Administration, Technology and Social Sciences, Human Work Science.
2011 (English)Conference paper, Presentation (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

In recent decades, the role of policy networks in public promotion of innovation has been highlighted in Western innovation policies and innovation theories. However, a knowledge gap still prevails concerning the paradox that while emphasizing decentralization and inclusion in theory, innovation theories and policies are characterized by a top-down approach in practice, ascribing superiority to certain actors and areas in advance while marginalizing others. This motivates the application of analytical approaches and empirical data that are more considerate towards a multitude of actors, areas and aspects in order to fully understand the dynamics of policy networks such as innovation systems and clusters. In this article, some of the marginalized actors and areas get to prove their importance empirically by means of existing tools of bottom-up policy analysis. A bottom-up approach has previously been applied in relation to innovation systems and clusters only in a few research studies. The paper portrays how four Swedish policy networks have challenged prevailing innovation policy and innovation research by highlighting the role of non-profit actors, services and creative industries and women’s entrepreneurship and innovation. They have challenged the norms by expanding the range of relevant actors in such policy networks, resulting in entrepreneurial types of innovation systems. The bottom-up generated data contributes to the further development of existing innovation theories by exposing a causal relation between context, organization and outcomes – implying that experiences of marginalization evoke entrepreneurial types of innovation systems rather that institutional, engendering a wider range of innovations. The acknowledgement of such a causal relation increases the ability of innovation theories to correctly inform Western policies aiming to enhance innovation and evoke “smart, sustainable and inclusive growth”, emphasized in the new EU2020 strategy.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Research subject
Gender and Technology
URN: urn:nbn:se:ltu:diva-38462Local ID: cded8883-a08f-4e66-8b3e-3c9c4ff77b37OAI: diva2:1011963
Triple Helix IX : 11/07/2011 - 14/07/2011
Godkänd; 2011; 20110505 (andbra)Available from: 2016-10-03 Created: 2016-10-03Bibliographically approved

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Lindberg, Malin
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