Hohenheim Discussion Papers in Business, Economics and Social Sciences 17-2016
On the occasion of the 30th anniversary of Innovation System research, this paper presents an extensive literature review on this large field of innovation research. Building on an analytical basis of the commonalities "system" and "innovation", the authors analyze the four main Innovation System approaches: National Innovation Systems (NIS), Regional Innovation Systems (RIS), Sectoral Innovation Systems (SIS) and Technological Innovation Systems (TIS). The analysis is structured systematically along ten comprehensive criteria. Starting with the founder(s) of each theory and the research program within each Innovation System approach was developed (1), the basic thoughts of each Innovation System approach are explained (2). For five case studies most cited (3), spatial boundaries are examined (4) and units of analyses are derived (5). By comparing the underlying theoretical concept and empirical results, the authors show patterns in the evolution of Innovation System research overall. By studying the basic components (6) and a functional analysis (7), each Innovation System approach is broken down into structural pieces and functional processes. If available, the authors present one or several taxonomies (8) for each Innovation System approach and summarize similar approaches (9), in order to classify and integrate the approaches into the ongoing innovation research. The identification of further research (10) shows which steps will need to be taken in the next years in order to evolve Innovation System research further and deeper. After the conclusion, the extensive table of comparison is presented which can serve as a guideline for academics and practitioners from basic and applied science, industry or policy that need to understand which Innovation System approach may be best for their specific analytical purposes.
Innovation System National Innovation System Regional Innovation System Sectoral Innovation System Technological Innovation System