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By Ted Fuller and Lorraine Warren


This policy-oriented purpose of this paper is to contribute to improving the level of theory in empirical policy studies, thus giving more robust grounding to the claim for policy being evidence based. It is a working paper, in that its findings are intended to inform methodological improvements in studies of technological clusters, leading to greater insights in the use of policy instruments as levers. Its relevance to SMEs is that the perspective taken is systematic and that the behaviour of individual SME entrepreneurial ventures is significant to systems of innovation. The position that this paper takes is that innovation is an emergent property of a confluence of entities, and although causal mechanisms may exist, in a realist sense, they are yet to be adequately theorised. The paper offers a framework that allows morphological description and also a consideration of interactions and emergent order. Policy and strategies based on descriptive evidence, such as the assumption that cluster cause innovation, but which lack theories of the dynamics involved are likely to be fallible. From a deep analysis of complexity science and entrepreneurship, McKelvey (2003) suggests that complex adaptive systems provide the potentially for ontologically adequat

Year: 2011
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