National Innovation Systems: A Comparative Analysis

National Innovation Systems: A Comparative Analysis

National Innovation Systems: A Comparative Analysis

National Innovation Systems: A Comparative Analysis

Synopsis

The slowdown of growth in Western industrialized nations in the last twenty years, along with the rise of Japan as a major economic and technological power (and enhanced technical sophistication of Taiwan, Korea, and other NICs) has led to what the authors believe to be a "techno-nationalism." This combines a strong belief that technological capabilities of a nation;s firms are a key source of their competitive process, with a belief that these capabilities are in a sense national, and can be built by national action. This book is about these national systems of technical innovation. The heart of the work contains studies of seventeen countries--from large market-oriented industrialized ones to several smaller high income ones, including a number of newly industrialized states as well. Clearly written, this work highlights institutions and mechanisms which support technical innovation, showing similarities, differences, and their sources across nations, making this work accessible to students as well as the scholars of innovation.

Excerpt

This book is about national systems of technical innovation. The heart of the work consists of studies of 15 countries, including the large market-oriented industrialized ones, several smaller high-income countries, and a number of newly industrializing states. The studies have been carefully designed, developed, and written to illuminate the institutions and mechanisms supporting technical innovation in the various countries, the similarities and differences across countries and how these came to be, and to permit at least preliminary discussion of how the differences matter.

The book has been written more despite than because of the recent great interest in the topic considered. The slowdown of growth since the early 1970s in all of the advanced industrial nations, the rise of Japan as a major economic and technological power, the relative decline of the United States, and widespread concerns in Europe about being behind both have led to a rash of writing and policy concerned with supporting the technical innovative prowess of national firms. At the same time the enhanced technical sophistication of Korea, Taiwan, and other NICs has broadened the range of nations whose firms are competitive players in fields that used to be the preserve of only a few, and has led other nations who today have a weak manufacturing sector to wonder how they might emulate the performance of the successful NICs. There clearly is a new spirit of what might be called "technonationalism" in the air, combining a strong belief that the technological capabilities of a nation's firms are a key source of their competitive prowess, with a belief that these capabilities are in a sense national, and can be built by national action.

It is this climate that has given rise to the current strong interest in national innovation systems, and their similarities and differences, and in the extent and manner that these differences explain variation in national economic performance. There may now be more awareness and research on such national differences than on any other area where comparative institutional analysis would seem interesting and illuminating.

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