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Networks and network resources in technological innovation systems: Towards a conceptual framework for system building

Jörg Musiolik, Jochen Markard and Marko Hekkert

Technological Forecasting and Social Change, 2012, vol. 79, issue 6, 1032-1048

Abstract: Previous research has shown that formal networks can play a crucial role in the formation of technological innovation systems (TIS). Firms and other actors collaborate in formal networks not only to generate new knowledge but also to strategically create and shape supportive system resources such as technology specific R&D programs. This paper takes a closer look at the resources, which are developed and deployed by networks to facilitate the building up of a TIS. Networks rely not only on the organizational resources of their members but also on new resources developed at the network level including network governance structures, trust among network members, a common understanding of the strategic goals or a good reputation of the network. Our analysis shows that the capacity of networks to fulfill different tasks of system building especially depends on the network resources they are able to establish. With the differentiation of organizational, network and system resources we introduce a conceptual framework, which makes three important contributions. It highlights the strategic nature of (innovation) system building; it allows us comparing the contribution of different actors and formal networks in this regard; and it improves our understanding of how firm and system level processes are intertwined.

Keywords: System building; Innovation networks; Network resources; Technological innovation system; Clean technology (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2012
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