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Driving forces for innovation: are they measurable?

Abstract

This paper outlines a synthetic framework based on the concept of the learning process as a driver to redress stakeholders’ attitudes and strategic choices. The discussion is focused on the advantages that may result from institutional proximity, knowledge diffusion and coordination for the specific building up of a territorial knowledge base and the consequent achievement of sustainable regional development. This theoretical framework is applied to an empirical exercise identifying a number of variables supposed to be able to characterise firms and regional performances towards different forms of innovation. Modelling techniques are used to demonstrate that firms’ capacity to innovate is a complex attribute whose determinants change. The results permit to conclude causal links that may be useful for a better understanding of innovation and as support instruments for policy-makers which intend to search for specificities in the regional development process

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