School of Technology Management and Economics, Chalmers University of Technology, Gothenburg, Sweden
This chapter focuses on the changing boundaries of innovation systems, in order to understand how system integrators need to link innovation and development to market demand and use. Focusing on these changing boundaries implies a focus on the overall changes in the innovation system over time. These changes in boundaries are visible in actors, relationships, forces that create momentum for additional development, etc. Much of this chapter focuses on two empirical examples—pharmaceuticals and open source software. The two empirical sections present material in such a way as to embed theoretical and analytical points in the empirical evidence. This chapter demonstrates that innovation systems offer a useful tool for understanding which possible future trajectories exist, in terms of sketching how changing boundaries affect the possibilities to integrate the component services, goods, and knowledge into a system.
This chapter argues that the boundaries of innovation systems shift over time. This means that new actors may join and old actors may exit or that new types of actors (such as universities or venture capitalists) may, at certain times, become important for innovation processes. This idea that the boundaries of the innovation shift over time has implications for how, why, and who can influence the integration of all the components into a system. At some points, certain firms can act as systems integrators (Davies, Chapter Sixteen, this volume; Prencipe, Chapter Seven, this volume; Sako, Chapter Twelve, this volume). At other points, however, the activities of all the various actors need to be coordinated through more distributed coordination mechanisms. One example is coordination through market transactions which provide price signals to influence many distributed individuals. Another example is more loosely coordinated networks, such as communities of developers or informal relationships. This implies that if the