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The Associational EconomyFirms, Regions, and Innovation$
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Philip Cooke and Kevin Morgan

Print publication date: 1998

Print ISBN-13: 9780198290186

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198290186.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 26 October 2021

The Institutions of Innovation

The Institutions of Innovation

(p.9) 1 The Institutions of Innovation
The Associational Economy

Philip Cooke

Kevin Morgan

Oxford University Press

The conception of innovation is at one with the theoretical tradition of evolutionary political economy which informs our work. Unlike the more static and equilibrium-oriented approach of neoclassical economic theory, evolutionary political economy is concerned not with a supposedly optimal allocation of resources at a given point in time but with how firms and industries mobilize, deploy, and develop their resources over time. The aim of this chapter is to elaborate on these theoretical insights by focusing on some key aspects of the innovation process. This chapter argues that innovation needs to be recognized for what it really is, namely a collective and iterative endeavour rather than an act of heroic individualism, a point illustrated by reference to the interactive model of innovation. To develop this argument, three institutional ‘carriers’ of innovation are examined — firms, states, and systems — where the capacity to promote associational behaviour is one of the most important ingredients in the recipe of a successful corporate strategy and more effective public policy. Finally, this chapter identifies some of the intangible factors — like trust, voice, and loyalty — which underpin associational action in firms, countries, and regions.

Keywords:   innovation, evolutionary political economy, interactive model of innovation, firms, states, systems, trust, voice, loyalty

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