Innovation Systems in a Global Context

Innovation Systems in a Global Context: The North American Experience

ROBERT ANDERSON
THEODORE COHN
CHAD DAY
MICHAEL HOWLETT
CATHERINE MURRAY
Copyright Date: 1998
Pages: 316
https://www.jstor.org/stable/j.ctt80swv
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  • Book Info
    Innovation Systems in a Global Context
    Book Description:

    Focusing on North America, Innovation Systems in a Global Context examines the nature of existing systems of innovation in the United States, Canada, and Mexico; the conceptual questions surrounding the analysis of such systems; trends towards the creation of supranational systems in East Asia, Europe, and North America; and some of the ecological, cultural, economic, and social problems confronting these large-scale systems.

    eISBN: 978-0-7735-6740-5
    Subjects: Economics

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-x)
  3. Acknowledgments
    (pp. xi-2)
  4. Introduction: Innovation Systems in a Global Context
    (pp. 3-20)
    ROBERT ANDERSON, THEODORE COHN, CHAD DAY, MICHAEL HOWLETT and CATHERINE MURRAY

    The ever-increasing integration of national economies in a global economic system has become a central feature of contemporary political, social, economic, and cultural life. Yet the contours and mechanisms of such integration are not well understood (Gamble and Payne 1996). Does integration lead to economic prosperity? Is integration occurring more at the regional or global level (McMahon and Woodliffe 1996)? How does integration affect local or subnational economies and societies? What has been the impact of such activity on the environment, labour, women, and other groups marginalized by earlier periods and patterns of economic growth?

    Answering these questions is a...

  5. PART ONE CONCEPTUALIZING INNOVATION SYSTEMS

    • 1 Competitiveness, Sustainability, and the North American Regional System of Innovation
      (pp. 23-57)
      CHARLESS DAVIS

      Over the past decade, several broad sets of issues have attracted the attention of researchers, policymakers, and business people in North America with interests in the ways that scientific and technical resources are created and deployed. The first of these concerns international economic competitiveness, and the second, social and environmental sustainability. What does each mean in terms of science, technology, and innovation management and policy?¹

      Competitivenessandsustainabilityboth work as a metalanguage, each with its own set of assumptions, problems, and agenda of prescribed actions. Each agenda shares a sometimes millenarian language to describe the apocalyptic consequences of failure...

    • 2 Techno-nationalism and Meso Innovation Systems
      (pp. 58-75)
      GILLES PAQUET

      The notion of a national system of innovation refers to elusive arrays of national public and private institutions and organizations and public policy thrusts that are purported to shape stable patterns of behaviour and particular incentive systems in the innovation process. Supposedly, the national system of innovation weaves together in a creative way different logics embodied in technical trajectories, production systems, national institutions, and action plans by stakeholders (Niosi et al. 1992; Bes 1993).

      In the introductory chapter of hisNational Innovation Systems,Richard Nelson develops a central hypothesis about “a new spirit of what might be called technonationalism ......

    • 3 Making the Most of North American Integration: The Challenges
      (pp. 76-88)
      SIDNEY WEINTRAUB

      The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), if it is to provide optimal benefits to the three member countries, must deepen well beyond the removal of border barriers and even the unimpeded flow of direct investment. Deepening refers to such issues as establishing common or compatible industrial standards, especially for inputs into final products; agreeing to non-restrictive standards for the provision of technical and professional services; upward harmonization of environmental and sanitary standards; compatible requirements for trucks and other surface transportation; rapid customs clearance; and the ability of each country to penetrate the regulatory processes of the others to monitor...

  6. PART TWO NATIONAL SYSTEMS OF INNOVATION IN NORTH AMERICA

    • 4 Canada’s National R&D System
      (pp. 91-107)
      JORGE NIOSI

      Technological innovation is conducted for the most part within business enterprises. However, the institutional environment is key to understanding whether firms will be successful or not in creating new products and processes. In fact, innovation is a nation-specific phenomenon: almost all of it takes place in a limited number of national settings, basically the OECD (Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development) countries in Western Europe, Southeast Asia, and North America. Even among these industrialized countries, national differences are enormous. They differ not only in the share of the gross domestic product (GDP) that they invest in research and development, but...

    • 5 Mexico’s National Innovation System in the 1990s: Overview and Sectoral Effects
      (pp. 108-126)
      J. CARLOS RAMÍREZ and KURT UNGER

      The adoption of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), which took effect in January 1994, represented the formal culmination of the process of opening the Mexican economy that had been initiated a decade earlier. Mexico’s initiative to join the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) in 1986 was probably the most important measure taken to open its economy and increase its competitiveness globally.

      Both of these trading arrangements introduced important changes in the Mexican business environment. Domestic industry was abruptly exposed to competition from abroad, and technology policy also became more liberal. The response of Mexico’s innovation and...

    • 6 The Triple Helix of Academia-Industiy-Government: The U.S. National Innovation System
      (pp. 127-148)
      HENRY ETZKOWITZ

      We are moving into a new environment for innovation in which universities and other knowledge-producing organizations play a much stronger role. Local, regional, and national governments are more actively engaged in formulating industrial policy. International and multinational authorities are also involved. Even the older, larger firms are revising the way that they develop technology, entering into horizontal and vertical strategic alliances to develop and market new products. Product and process innovation within industry (Mowery 1983) is complemented by techno-scientific innovation (Hilpert 1991). Originating in academia and encouraged by government policies, new technological fields such as biotechnology and alternative energy have...

  7. PART THREE REGIONAL SYSTEMS OF INNOVATION

    • 7 The North American System of Innovation in the Global Context
      (pp. 151-173)
      JOHN ALIC

      This chapter seeks (1) to clarify the meaning of innovation systems, stressing the extent to which they are systems for generating and applying knowledge; (2) to outline the North American system of innovation and explore the usefulness of this construct given a world economy in which national boundaries are porous to flows of knowledge; and (3) to speculate concerning the future place of the Americas in the international economy. The focus is primarily on the United States and Mexico. The U.S. national system of innovation, largely a creation of the Cold War and as yet changed relatively little, dominates not...

    • 8 The Regionalization of Production and Competitiveness in East Asia
      (pp. 174-193)
      JOHN RAVENHILL

      The relative contribution made by states and market forces to East Asia’s impressive economic performance continues to dominate academic discussion of the region, a tendency reinforced by the publication of the controversial World Bank reportThe East Asian Miracle(World Bank 1993).¹ Curiously, the bank’s report says almost nothing about the firms or the organization of production in the region. By continuing to focus on the nation-state as the principal unit of analysis, the bank and many of its critics alike have ignored the regionalization of production that has greatly accelerated in the last decade, contributing significantly to the ability...

    • 9 The European Information Society and Regional Cohesion
      (pp. 194-202)
      LUC SOETE

      The potential economic and social benefits to Europe’s regions offered by the new information and communication technologies (ICTs) identified with the emerging Information Society are varied and great. The “death of distance” associated with these new technologies leads one quite naturally to focus on the new growth and development opportunities in the geographicallyless-favoured regions(LFRs) – those areas that have hitherto suffered most from such geographical barriers to development. It is clear, however, that grasping these opportunities is not automatic.

      In order to access the benefits of the Information Society, the LFRs must have in place a number of pre-requisites....

  8. PART FOUR EMERGING ISSUES IN INNOVATION SYSTEMS

    • 10 Competitiveness and Complex Economic Integration in the North American Region
      (pp. 205-219)
      RICHARD G. HARRIS

      Competitiveness has traditionally been addressed at the national level, and a fundamental issue in economics has always been the wealth of nations. The past decade has seen an unprecedented move towards the economic integration of large regions of the globe. The link between the regional trading blocs and national competitiveness has thus far received less attention than it merits. The completion of the North Americaneconomic regionwas given considerable impetus with the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). In this chapter, I review the issue of the competitiveness of North America in light of the integration that is proceeding....

    • 11 The Variable Geometry of Asian Trade: Trade and Competitiveness in North America – East Asian Interdependence
      (pp. 220-252)
      STEPHEN S. COHEN and PAOLO GUERRIERI

      The spectacular economic success of the Asian Pacific region has generated a vast literature¹ that has identified many different, and often mutually exclusive, sources for that success and related it to North American competitiveness – as both cause and effect – in positive, negative, and relative terms. Most studies of Asian success, however, have attributed a critical role to international trade. The exceptionally rapid rates of economic growth achieved by the Asian countries are generally associated with their even more impressive achievements in export performance. Though exports of Asian countries have historically been oriented towards Western industrial countries, trade statistics indicate very...

    • 12 Stabilization, Structural Adjustment, and Labour Market Performance after NAFTA: The Mexican Experience
      (pp. 253-286)
      DIANA ALARCÓN and EDUARDO ZEPEDA

      Although fifteen years have passed since radical economic reforms were initiated, Mexico is still confronting the difficult challenge of establishing conditions for stable long-term development. In recent years, the social sustainability of the reform process has been repeatedly called into question because reform has failed to deliver economic growth, job expansion, or opportunities to improve the standard of living of large sectors of Mexican society. In a largely urban country like Mexico, the possibilities of improving standards of living and creating greater social mobility – indeed, social and political cohesion – critically depend on generating productive employment for a growing labour force....

    • 13 Sustainable Development and Technological Innovation in North America
      (pp. 287-301)
      ROBERTO A. SANCHEZ

      This chapter explores the relationship between sustainable development and technological innovation in North America with a view to fostering further discussion on the topic. It focuses on the feasibility of achieving a process of sustainable development in the region and on the potential role of innovation in this process.

      Sustainable development has a wide variety of definitions. These range from a strategy loosely defined as the search for a way to conserve natural resources and protect the environment, to a more comprehensive social approach that seeks both intra- and intergenerational equity. Although a common element in most definitions is the...

  9. Contributors
    (pp. 302-303)