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Innovation studies-an emerging discipline (or what)? A study of the global network of innovation scholars

Jan Fagerberg () and Bart Verspagen

No 20060911, Working Papers on Innovation Studies from Centre for Technology, Innovation and Culture, University of Oslo

Abstract: Although innovation is not a new topic for scholarly research, the academic literature on innovation was, for a long time, not very voluminous. However, more recently innovation has become a major focus among scholars of different backgrounds, and this change is also reflected in an increasing number of academic publications in this area. In parallel with this we have seen the emergence of a number of new journals and professional associations devoted to the subject. The research reported in this paper is motivated by these trends. We wish to find an answer to the question to what extent it now exists a unified community of innovation scholars that identify themselves with innovation studies as a field rather than particular sub-fields within other, more traditional disciplines. Moreover, we want to explore the factors (sources of inspiration, academic leadership, professional societies, publishing outlets etc.) that bind scholars together or - alternatively - continue to keep them divided. The research reported in this paper is based on a web-survey carried out in during 2004 and 2005. The results suggest that a global innovation studies community exists as a collection of a large number of relatively small groups (characterized dense internal relationships) defined along geographical and disciplinary lines. Although the field has spread over many countries and disciplines, it is particularly developed in Europe and among scholars with a background in economics. These smaller groups, however, are embedded in larger transnational groups or clusters that are kept together by what is commonly referred to as "weak ties". Leading scholars, professional associations and journals all play an important role in keeping these larger groups together (as well as distinguishing them from each other).

Keywords: Innovation; Networks (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: O10 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-cse, nep-his, nep-ino and nep-soc
Date: 2006-09
Note: Presented at the SPRU 40th Anniversary Conference on "The Future of Science, Technology and Innovation Policy", University of Sussex, September 11 - 13, 2006.
References: View references in EconPapers View complete reference list from CitEc
Citations: View citations in EconPapers (2) Track citations by RSS feed

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