Academic journal article Journal of Organizational Culture, Communications and Conflict

Regional Social Potential as the Catalyst of Diffusion of Innovations

Academic journal article Journal of Organizational Culture, Communications and Conflict

Regional Social Potential as the Catalyst of Diffusion of Innovations

Article excerpt

INTRODUCTION

The modern technical-and-economic paradigm reflecting interaction of the technological mode with the socio-economic environment (Glazyev, 2012, p.8-27) considers an innovation activity as a key factor of competitiveness of a national and regional economy. According to the authors, the innovative potential of a region is a set of opportunities for a social and economic system of the region and the economic situation prevailing in it to create the conditions for development of innovative processes and formation of the prospects for implementation of innovative projects.

Estimation of an innovative potential is faced with many difficulties as it has to deal with the knowledge and ideas which are not codified, but "stored" in the minds of people and are concentrated in an organizational routine (Oslo Manual, 2006). A prerequisite for solution of this problem to the extent, in which it is possible at all, is isolation of resource components of an innovative potential each of which has a specific functional purpose: material and technical, informational, educational, financial, human, and other (Matveykin, Dvoretskiy, et al., 2007, p.265).

In determining an innovative potential at the level of big socio-economic systems to which regions are included, non-formalizable or weakly formalized parameters of society begin to be of particular importance that, when considering the lower levels of innovative processes organization are assumed as unchangeable external environment parameters. For example, with an increase in size and, consequently, in the level of spatial hierarchy of a society where innovative processes proceed, social relations which are essential for their development become mostly of cultural type which is determined by the attitude of agents (as defined by P. Bourdieu) to the existing cultural and historical situation. Although these relations exist only in human mind, his/her real purposeful behavior makes them as if they actually exist (Peregudov, 1989, p.367).

At the regional level, an innovative system is multi-functional innovative network structures combining actors which goals and ways of action are quite different (Planque, 2002). The need to balance and / or removal of contradictions between purposes of actors' activity defines the growing role of social resources of innovation activity that include social responsibility, cultural and historical identity, awareness of the value of solidarity position, and thus ensure stability and social cohesion of the regional community which is basis of the innovation process.

METHODOLOGICAL FRAMEWORK

In the middle of the XX century the scientific community has been realized that any economic process, including diffusion of innovations, is socially defined and develops within a complex system of interpersonal relations. In this regard, it is necessary to use a special economic approach which studies not only the economic situation, but also the social context for analysis of elements of innovation diffusion. It is developed mainly within the framework of the institutional paradigm which has emerged in the late XIX century in the United States, and by the middle of the XX century took shape of a leading area of economic research. In contrast to the neoclassical school in which under the influence of cartesianism a concept of "rational economic man" was formed that seeks to maximize the utility function, institutionalism considers a man in relation to the cultural and institutional environment (Hodgson, 2000, p. 317) focusing on endogenous nature of institutions.

For the study of social phenomena within the framework of institutional research, structural and functional analysis is chosen most often which allows us to represent the social reality in the form of a system to which the unity of its structural and functional components is peculiar. Since we are talking about establishing of relationships between the phenomenon of social institutions, social relations and the diffusion of innovation that are not amenable to formalization and mathematical modeling, the authors focus on the regulatory toolkit. …

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