Four dangers in innovation policy studies - and how to avoid them

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The field of innovation policy studies is at a crossroads. It has clearly been influential. However, might it be losing the critical insight necessary to remain so in future? We discuss four dangerous tendencies seen in many innovation policy studies: idealising policy rationales and policy-makers; treating policies as tools from a toolbox; putting too much faith in coordination and intelligent design of 'policy mixes'; and taking an atemporal approach to innovation policy. Based on these we identify some ways forward that, we argue, would deal better with the complex multi-actor dynamics, fundamental uncertainties and challenges to the implementation, coordination and evaluation of policies and which would make for more relevant and impactful innovation policy studies.

Bibliographical metadata

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)177-188
Number of pages12
JournalIndustry and Innovation
Issue number2
Early online date9 Mar 2016
Publication statusPublished - 2016

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