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Innovation, Growth and Social Cohesion
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Innovation, Growth and Social Cohesion

The Danish Model

9781840647433 Edward Elgar Publishing
Bengt-Åke Lundvall, Professor of Economics, Department of Business and Management, Aalborg University, Denmark
Publication Date: 2002 ISBN: 978 1 84064 743 3 Extent: 240 pp
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.

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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.
Critical Acclaim
‘My overall assessment of this book is very positive. It presents itself well and is a well written contribution to the debate on the future of innovation policy. It is certainly worth reading, presenting both interesting and thought-provoking insights on the dynamics of innovation systems, as well as an interesting chapter on policy and management implications. The focus on labour market policies as central means in innovation policy is an important point.’
– Poul Houman Andersen, Journal of Evolutionary Economics

‘Bengt-Åke Lundvall has made many outstanding original contributions to contemporary understanding of innovation systems, not only in Scandinavia but world-wide. This book is especially valuable in its deep appreciation of the role of social cohesion during periods of far-reaching technological transformation. Like the earlier work of Polanyi on “The Great Transformation”, it is essential reading for all those concerned with innovation and social change.’
– Christopher Freeman, SPRU – Science and Technology Policy Research, University of Sussex, UK and Maastricht University, The Netherlands
Contents
Contents: Preface Introduction: Innovation and Social Cohesion in a Learning Economy 1. The Objective: To Stimulate a Knowledge-based Debate about Innovation Policy 2. Innovation 3. The Innovation System 4. A National Innovation System? 5. The Specialization of the Danish Innovation System 6. Education, Labour Markets and Capital Markets as Fundamental Components of the Danish Innovation and Competence-building System 7. The Learning Economy 8. The Learning Organization 9. Knowledge Intensity and Knowledge Flows in the Danish Innovation System 10. Inter-firm Collaboration 11. Collaboration between Firms and Knowledge Institutions 12. Qualification Requirements and Organizational Change: New Challenges for Continuing Education and Vocational Training 13. Labour Market Dynamics, Innovation and Organizational Change 14. Lessons to be Learnt Bibliography Index
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