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Standing on the shoulders of giants

The Economics of an Emergent System Property

Cristiano Antonelli

This chapter highlights the limits of current approaches to the economics of innovation. It also stresses their role in articulating a theory of innovation as an endogenous process that relies upon the characteristics of the system in which the response of firms to unexpected mismatches in both labour and factor markets takes place. The role of Marshallian contributions to Schumpeterian thinking is stressed.

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Cristiano Antonelli

Technological congruence is an emergent system property defined by the match between the relative size of output elasticity and the relative abundance and cost of inputs in local factor markets. With given total costs, output is larger the larger is the output elasticity of the cheapest input. Technological congruence is a powerful tool that helps in grasping the economic complexity of technological change with respect to determinants of the direction of technological change and its effects in terms of growth accounting and specialization, both at the firm and the system level. Its appreciation stems directly from advances in the economics of innovation in understanding the endogenous determinants of the introduction and diffusion of directed technological changes. Technological congruence is most relevant to influence the actual levels of total factor productivity of new technologies and, consequently, to shape the competitive advance of firms and countries.

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Towards an evolutionary complexity of endogenous innovation

The Economics of an Emergent System Property

Cristiano Antonelli

This chapter implements an evolutionary complexity approach that builds on the legacy of Schumpeter (1947) with the notions of: i) reactive decision-making; ii) multiple feedback; iii) innovation as the outcome of an emergent system process rather than individual action; iv); organized complexity and knowledge connectivity; iv) endogenous variety; and vi) non-ergodic path-dependent dynamics. Building on these bases, the chapter articulates an endogenous theory of innovation centred on analysis of the systemic conditions that make the creative reaction, and hence the introduction of innovations, possible.

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Kai Jakobs

This chapter discusses how companies may use the management of their information and communication technology (ICT) standardization activities to improve competitiveness and innovativeness. Case studies are presented to show different approaches to standardization management adopted by different types of companies in different parts of the ICT sector. The cases illustrate the variety of approaches to standards and standardization that firms and organizations might adopt, relative to several essential factors as drawn from the literature on both standards and innovation. This shows how different strategies emerge depending upon the relative importance of various strategic and tactical factors in participating firms. The chapter concludes by illustrating the variety of approaches to standards and standardization that managers in firms and organizations might adopt.

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Knut Blind

This chapter reviews the role of standards in creating new knowledge and applying it to products and services. Participation in standards development can add significantly to the knowledge base of innovating firms, but standards can also generate negative effects. How they are developed has a significant effect on their outcomes in terms of stimulating or retarding innovation. Questions of the legitimacy of standards and the role of institutions and rules in reflecting a legitimate consensus of affected stakeholders are also critical is this regard. The chapter explores such fundamentals in terms of their economic implications for several of the key activities and practices associated with innovation, for example research and development, public procurement, intellectual property rights, technology transfer and the creation of market demand.

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Edited by Richard Hawkins, Knut Blind and Robert Page

Innovation and standardization might seem polar opposites, but over many years various scholars have noted close connections between the two. This Handbook assembles a broad range of thinking on this subject, with contributions from several disciplinary perspectives by over 30 leading scholars and experienced practitioners. Collectively, they summarize and synthesize the existing body of knowledge – theory and evidence – pertaining to standards and innovation, and provide insights into how this knowledge can be useful to scholars, industrial strategists, policy-makers and standards practitioners.
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Henk J. de Vries and Paul Moritz Wiegmann

Most studies of the impact of standardization on innovation focus on manufacturing sectors for which they often report positive impacts. However, in many countries services represent more than 50 per cent of gross domestic product, and while the number of standards for services is small, it is increasing. This chapter addresses service standardization and its impacts on innovation. First, it presents a model that allows to study service standardization and innovation in a systematic way. Next, the authors develop a conceptual model of the impact of service standards and involvement in service standardization committees on service innovation at the level of individual organizations as well as at market level. Testing this model in an empirical case, they show a positive impact of a standard at both levels, which seems to be enhanced by participation in standards setting. However, this is just one case and many categories of service standards and of service innovation apply, so more research is needed; the chapter ends with suggested directions for future research.

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Richard Hawkins and Knut Blind

This introduction explores the conceptual background and definitions that pertain to understanding standards and standardization in the context of innovation. A general overview is provided of the themes explored in the chapters that follow.

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Robert Page

This chapter discusses the history and current development challenges of ISO 14000, one of the largest and currently most high-profile international standards frameworks. Climate change is certainly among the most pressing international social and political issues. One of the major problems in obtaining consensus on how to control or reduce it centers on how industry can manage, measure and monitor progress in meeting national and international environmental targets. The ISO 14000 framework of environmental management standards is an ongoing global effort to facilitate this objective. The chapter shows that although the ISO 14000 framework is an innovation in itself in terms of environmental management, the constant challenge is to ensure that the goals of environmental mitigation though standards also support efforts to innovate more broadly in environmental technologies and practices throughout the industrial spectrum.

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Christian Frankel and Jean-Pierre Galland

In the perspective of political governance, technical standardization is often seen as offering a practical compromise between political regulation and innovation in the market. On one hand, legal regulation is a precondition for markets as regulation provides market actors with relatively stable and calculable conditions. On the other hand, regulation may become a barrier to innovation in the market. A closer look at the history of technical standardization in the European Union (EU) Single Market framework shows that European governance in recent decades has invented modes of regulation that are intended specifically to use technical standardization to spur innovation. This chapter traces this development in policy documents from the EU and from the European technical standardization organizations. The authors conclude that the contradiction of between regulation and innovation has not been removed. Instead, they find a future-orientation of governance that to some degree contradicts the normative function of legal regulation, and they find indications that sometimes the general legal requirements become abstract to a degree that it becomes difficult, if not impossible, to tell whether they have been fulfilled or not.