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Kroll, Henning
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Arbeitspapiere Unternehmen und Region R1/2017
[Introduction] Inherent in its conception, the smart specialisation approach carries an intrinsic tension between its alleged place-based nature at the meso-level of regions and the fact that it was derived from theoretical premises that derive from the analysis of competition between nations (Foray et al. 2009; 2011). Implicitly, therefore, it presupposes a certain degree of completeness and variety in economic and innovation systems as is commonly assumed in international comparative analysis between nations – debatable as this suggestion may in itself be. Obviously, the actual innovation systems of European regions are often much more fragmented (Capello and Kroll 2016; Isaksen 2014; Kroll 2015; Technopolis et al. 2012; Tödtling and Trippl 2005). At the same time, it borrows concept of exploration and discovery from the analysis of the world of business (Hausman and Rodrik 2003) which cannot easily be transferred to the world of governance, leave alone government. While, possibly, it can most easily be read as promoting the public triggering of such processes where their absence constitutes an obstacle to economic development and their better guidance in others (Landabaso 2012; 2014), this ambition is neither an easy task in practice nor theoretically very well understood to start with. Overall, there has been limited differentiation between processes that are merely discursive and those that amount to actual co-creation and joint discovery. [...]
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Working Paper

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