Written by the scholar who, together with Chris Freeman, first introduced the concept of the innovation system, this book brings the literature an important step forward. Based upon extraordinarily rich empirical material, it shows how and why competence building and innovation are crucial for economic growth and competitiveness in the current era. It also provides a case study of a small, very successful European economy combining wealth creation with social cohesion.
The author’s comparative analysis of innovation systems demonstrates that the ‘new economy’ can thrive and grow not only in the US-type of economy but also in European economies which exhibit a high degree of social cohesion. He warns against the polarisation that may result from a development path where the success of individuals, organisations and national economies reflects their capability to adopt new competencies and skills. He argues that if this kind of learning economy is left unattended, it will eventually undermine the social cohesion that is essential for interactive learning processes. As such, he emphasises the need to develop coherent policy strategies at the regional, national and EU level in order to cope with the new challenges of the globalising learning economy.
Innovation, Growth and Social Cohesion is a highly readable, non-technical book which illustrates the basic concepts with plentiful examples and a wide variety of empirical material. Students and scholars in the field of industrial dynamics and innovation research will find this an invaluable resource. It will also be of significant interest to policymakers looking for growth models compatible with social cohesion and those interested in understanding the dynamics of the new learning economy.