Innovation networks

Mind and Society 12 (1):73-90 (2013)
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Abstract

This paper advances a framework for modeling the component interactions between cognitive and social aspects of scientific creativity and technological innovation. Specifically, it aims to characterize Innovation Networks; those networks that involve the interplay of people, ideas and organizations to create new, technologically feasible, commercially-realizable products, processes and organizational structures. The tri-partite framework captures networks of ideas (Concept Level), people (Individual Level) and social structures (Social-Organizational Level) and the interactions between these levels. At the concept level, new ideas are the nodes that are created and linked, kept open for further investigation or closed if solved by actors at the individual or organizational levels. At the individual level, the nodes are actors linked by shared worldviews (based on shared professional, educational, experiential backgrounds) who are the builders of the concept level. At the social-organizational level, the nodes are organizations linked by common efforts on a given project (e.g., a company–university collaboration) that by virtue of their intellectual property or rules of governance constrain the actions of individuals (at the Individual Level) or ideas (at the Concept Level). After describing this framework and its implications we paint a number of scenarios to flesh out how it can be applied.

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