Institutional infrastructure for innovation-based industrial path transformation

Authors: Lea Fünfschilling, Lund University, Simon Baumgartinger-Seiringer*, University of Vienna, Johan Miörner, Lund University, Michaela Trippl, University of Vienna
Topics: Economic Geography
Keywords: industrial renewal, institutions, innovation, (de-) institutionalization
Session Type: Paper
Day: 4/6/2019
Start / End Time: 3:05 PM / 4:45 PM
Room: Blue Room, Omni, East
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


The aim of this paper is to develop a more elaborated understanding of innovation-based renewal of mature industries by discussing the role of ‘institutional infrastructures’ in processes leading towards industrial transformation. The evolutionary understanding of innovation-led path renewal (EEG) is extended by the tradition to study field-level change (organizational institutionalism), where industrial dynamics can be perceived as processes of (de-) institutionalisation. Accordingly, in case of transformations certain elements of an established industry will have to become less relevant, be adapted or disregarded and new ones will have to created, institutionalized and aligned. The crucial question is then how these processes unfold and what regional and industry-specific structures fuel or hinder them. The notion of ‘institutional infrastructure’ draws attention to different features that govern field interaction, the formal and also informal mechanisms that produce ‘the rules of the game’ and thereby either contribute to field stability or transformation. The hypothesis is that the transformative capacity of an industry will depend on how well this infrastructure is elaborated and how coherent and aligned it is. We will also incorporate additional insights from the TIS literature. Integrating the main findings of these strands will lead to a robust conceptualization of industrial transformation that takes into account the very specific structural preconditions (EEG) and key processes (TIS) necessary for the destabilization and adaption of established industrial structures as well as the creation and build-up of new ones, and as such will show the merits of conceptualizing industrial transformation as a process of (de-) institutionalization.

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