42nd Congress of the European Regional Science Association: "From Industry to Advanced Services - Perspectives of European Metropolitan Regions", August 27th - 31st, 2002, Dortmund, Germany
It has been observed that the regional innovation environment (RIE) affects the innovation activities in firms. Studies focusing on innovation systems have increased our understanding of the interaction between the main actors that participate in the innovation activities and the systemic nature of these interdependent relationships. In addition to that the roles and functions of various organizations are now better identified and understood than earlier. The assumption here is that in the future the ability to manage the birth and development of regional innovation environments will become more important; the importance of leadership has always been central in the development of RIEs, but the point of departure here is that it will become even more important in the network society. The nature of power and influence is changing, affecting also the nature of leadership. Therefore the ability to understand the dynamic nature of different innovation environments, management and leadership may turn out to be crucial in the development of RIEs, as the structures and visible elements (structures, institutions etc.) do not always have significant differences between regions. Leadership and management in the creation and development of RIE differ in nature from conventional modes of leadership, because the means to influence are mainly indirect. In practice, influence builds on different forms of power, but first and foremost, on interaction and social skills. In order to be able to influence events, leaders have to act in the riptide of several different interests and aims, and find a totally new range of means that can be applied in different events. Processes can be lead for instance by creating new institutions, by creating and renewing interpretations that guide the practices of different people, by activating new actors in the networks and by improving the quality of interaction in the policy process. In order to be able to influence events, leaders have to act in the riptide of several different interests and aims, and find a totally new range of means that can be applied in different events. The objective of this paper is to identify conceptually the characteristics of leadership and management in the creation and development of innovation environment - in other words: how to manage the process between several organizations with different competencies in order to support innovation.