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The state of innovation system research: What happens beneath the surface?

Marija Rakas and Daniel S. Hain

Research Policy, 2019, vol. 48, issue 9, -

Abstract: Since its emergence in the 1980s, the concept of “Innovation Systems” (IS) has inspired research and shaped discussions in academia and policy alike, leading to a cascading development of approaches and extensions at various analytic levels. IS research has expanded far beyond its initial focus by generating new knowledge within but also attracting increased attention from adjacent fields. As a result, the broad understanding of IS and its diversity in applications has resulted in blurry boundaries of the field, making its contemporary delineation, synthesis, and assessment of its progress challenging. Using a combination of data-driven techniques from bibliometrics, natural language processing, and network analysis, this paper maps and analyzes the structure of knowledge production and the process of knowledge integration in current research. We find an overall growing tendency toward increasing diversity in the knowledge bases from which the field draws, accompanied by a decreasing coherence of collective research efforts. We point to the crucial role of institutions and academic entrepreneurs in shaping these developments in interdisciplinary and diverse fields, illustrating this by the role of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).

Keywords: Innovation systems; Bibliometrics; Knowledge bases; Networks; Diversity; Coherence (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: O30 B40 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2019
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DOI: 10.1016/j.respol.2019.04.011

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