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National innovation systems and the intermediary role of industry associations in building institutional capacities for innovation in developing countries: a critical review of the literature

Watkins, Andrew; Papaioannou, Theo; Mugwagwa, Julius and Kale, Dinar (2015). National innovation systems and the intermediary role of industry associations in building institutional capacities for innovation in developing countries: a critical review of the literature. Research Policy, 44(8) pp. 1407–1418.

DOI (Digital Object Identifier) Link: http://doi.org/10.1016/j.respol.2015.05.004
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Abstract

Developed over the past three decades, the national innovation system concept (NIS) has been widely used by both scholars and policy makers to explain how interactions between a set of distinct, nation-ally bounded institutions supports and facilitates technological change and the emergence and diffusion of new innovations. This concept provides a framework by which developing countries can adopt for purposes of catching up. Initially conceived on structures and interactions identified in economically advanced countries, the application of the NIS concept to developing countries has been gradual and has coincided – in the NIS literature – with a move away from overly macro-interpretations to an emphasis on micro-level interactions and processes, with much of this work questioning the nation state as the most appropriate level of analysis, as well as the emergence of certain intermediary actors thought to facilitate knowledge exchange between actors and institutions. This paper reviews the NIS literature chronologically, showing how this shift in emphasis has diminished somewhat the importance of both institutions, particularly governments, and the political processes of institutional capacity building. In doing so, the paper suggests that more recent literature on intermediaries such as industry associations may offer valuable insights to how institutional capacity building occurs and how it might be directed, particularly in the context of developing countries where governance capacities are often lacking, contributing to less effective innovation systems, stagnant economies, and unequal development.

Item Type: Journal Article
Copyright Holders: 2015 Elsevier B.V
ISSN: 0048-7333
Project Funding Details:
Funded Project NameProject IDFunding Body
Unpacking the Role of Industry Associations in Diffusion and Governance of Health Innovations in Developing CountriesRPG-2013-013Leverhulme Trust, UK
Keywords: national innovation systems; development; institutional capacity; knowledge exchange; intermediaries; industry associations
Academic Unit/Department: Faculty of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) > Engineering and Innovation
Faculty of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM)
Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (FASS) > Politics, Economics, Development, Geography
Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (FASS)
Interdisciplinary Research Centre: Centre for Citizenship, Identities and Governance (CCIG)
OpenSpace Research Centre (OSRC)
Innovation, Knowledge & Development research centre (IKD)
Item ID: 43510
Depositing User: Julius Mugwagwa
Date Deposited: 23 Jun 2015 15:36
Last Modified: 02 Aug 2016 14:49
URI: http://oro.open.ac.uk/id/eprint/43510
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