Social Science

INNOVATION 1

INNOVATION 2

FROM SECTORAL SYSTEM OF INNOVATION TO SOCIO-TECHNICAL SYSTEMS INSIGHTS ABOUT DYNAMICS AND CHANGE FROM SOCIOLOGY AND INSTITUTIONAL THEORY

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Article Summary

System innovation is defined from various levels, including regional, sectoral and national level. At the sectoral system levels, systemic innovations are firm’s activities in the development and making of product sectors. The generalization and utilization of technologies such as the firms’ systems and different ways are included through interaction processes and cooperation in the artifact-technology development, as well as through selection and competition processes in the market and innovation activities (Malerba & Adams, 2013, p. 6). The technological system involves the interaction of network agents in a particular technical area under specific institutional infrastructure that generates, diffuses and also utilizes technology. The System innovation definition is explicit because it braided the understanding of the concepts beyond the creation of technology to its utilization and diffusion, while technological system definition is narrowed down to the social systems level.

First, the inclusion of both supply and demand side in the definition of the system. The Sectoral systems approach focuses on developing knowledge, but pay less attention use and diffusion of technology, its impact and the societal transformation caused. At times, the user sides are ignored or narrowed down the selection environments (Mayrudi, 2002, p. 248). Therefore, there is a need to widen the sectoral innovation systems to the socio-technical systems which fulfill the societal functions such as communications, transport, housing, and material supply.

The second contributions involve the regards to the type of elements under discussion whereby there is a need to make analytic distinctions between actors involved in the maintenance of the system and the institution as well as rules guiding the activities and perception of actors. There is a need to use the analytical distinctions which are useful due to the currents literature that groups together various heterogeneous elements (Eggink, 2013, p. 9).

The third contribution which links other open issues involves paying more attention to the institutions. In some cases, institutions are left over in the analysis or are wrongly equated with organizations. There is a need to conceptualize the essence of institutions in the process of innovation. There is a need to explain the role played by institutions in dynamic development instead of focusing on stability and inertia (Geels, 2004, p. 899).

Finally, the article addresses, change of the systems. The main focus on the innovative approach is the functioning of the systems. The study of innovations should be discussed from dynamic points of view which focus in the emergency of new industries and systems. The current discussion of sectoral innovation does not consider the change from one system to another. Therefore, there is a need to determine how new sectoral systems emerge or develop and their link to the existing sectoral systems (Montobbio, 2004, p. 38).

In the process of transition from innovation systems to the achievement of social, technical systems, there is a need to analyze the existing innovation process, especially the production side which is the basis of the emergence of innovations. The first step toward this achievement is widening the analytic which focus on the user side and begin looking at the socio-technical systems that encompass diffusion, production, and technology use. Socio-Technical Systems is the linkage between various necessary elements in the fulfillment of societal functions such as communications, transport, and nutrition (Borrás & Edler, 2011, p. 31). Technology is a crucial element in the current society; hence they are needed to distinguish between distribution, production, and technologies used as sub-functions. The necessary component in the fulfillment of the sub-function is recognized to be resources. In modern societies, especially in the west, production and use of technologies have increasingly been categorized in separate clusters and the differentiation of social sciences. For instance, evolutionary business studies, economics and innovation studies focus mainly on the creation of knowledge and production and innovation but pay less attention to the users (Geels, 2004, p. 902). On the other hand, domestication and cultural studies focus more on the user than the process of production. The benefit of focusing on the social-technical systems from an explicit point of view is that it allows co-evolution of technology, as well as society of function and forms, become the focused attention.

In the Coordination of activities through rules and institutions, there is a need to distinguish between normative, regulative and cognitive rules. Regulative rules involve explicit and formal rules that regulate interaction and constrain behaviors. Normative rule confers norms, values, duties, role expectations, responsibilities and rights which are internalized through the process of socialization (Paganini, 2018, p. 131). Finally, cognitive rules involve the real nature and frames that allow the development of meaning and sense (Fürnkranz, Gamberger, & Lavrač, 2012, p. 176). Social rule system structures and regulates the social transactions which are supported by network control and social sanctions. In the case of changing rules it would be difficult to change an individual rule without affecting other hence in the process of innovation there is need to consider the regulations modified and alter them accordingly.

The dynamic interaction between the actors and rule-regime is necessary whereby it should focus on the effects and structure. The use of the conceptual approach when developing the dynamic interactions solves the existing structure-agency dilemma. Co-evolution in the ST systems is facilitated by the communication in social groups which lead to the improvement of the current technologies and development of new technologies. Therefore, ST systems co-evolve through the interaction of multiple dynamics.

Developing an understanding of the stability of current technologies leads to the descriptions of the emerging innovations. Socio-technical systems, social groups with rules offer stability using different mechanisms (Geihs & Hoffmann, 2014, p. 12). Rules and regime offer stability through the guiding of activities and perceptions. Actors and organization are interdependent networks as well as mutual dependents and contribute to stability. Social-technical systems, especially the material networks, and artifacts are difficult to change. The different paths used by the stability facts are dependent on the powerful incentives for innovations in the socio-technical systems that led to trajectories and paths of innovation (Tatnall, 2008, p. 272). Understand of the stability of content technology is obtained through focusing on the co-evolution of various trajectories. The existing of niches in the technology allowed the development of new technologies and innovation. Innovation emerges in the protected space whereby niches act as the incubation room. Niches are essential because they offer locations for the learning processes whereby they deviate through the existing rules and regime.

References

Borrás, S., & Edler, J., 2011. The governance of change in socio-technical and innovation systems: three pillars for a conceptual framework. The Governance of Socio-Technical Systems, pp. 23-48.

Eggink, M., 2013. The Components of an Innovation System: A Conceptual Innovation System Framework. Journal of Innovation and Business Best Practices, pp.1-12.

Fürnkranz, J., Gamberger, D., & Lavrač, N., 2012. Learning Rule Sets. Cognitive Technologies, pp.171-186.

Geels, F.W., 2004. From sectoral systems of innovation to socio-technical systems. Research Policy, 33(6-7), pp.897–920.

Geihs, K., & Hoffmann, H., 2014. A Research Agenda for the Socio-Technical Design of Ubiquitous Computing Systems. Socio-technical Design of Ubiquitous Computing Systems, pp. 3-18.

Malerba, F., & Adams, P., 2013. Sectoral Systems of Innovation. Oxford Handbooks Online.

Mayrudi, A., 2002. Sectoral Systems Of Innovation And Production. Research Policy,31(2), pp.247-264.

Montobbio, F., 2004. Sectoral dynamics and structural change: stylized facts and “system of innovation” approaches. Sectoral Systems of Innovation, pp.42-70.

Montobbio, F., 2010. Sectoral dynamics and structural change: stylized facts and “system of innovation” approaches. Sectoral Systems of Innovation, pp.42-70.

Paganini, E. 2018. Normative Rules for Indeterminacy. Ontology of Theistic Beliefs, pp.129-136.

Tatnall, A., 2008. Actor-Network Theory as a Socio-Technical Approach to Information Systems Research. Socio-Technical and Human Cognition Elements of Information Systems, pp. 266-283.

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