Thursday, July 4, 2013

DRUID Day 3 (19 June)

Today the DRUID debate was whether 'innovation systems' was still a promising line of research. Disappointingly, I felt the team arguing for 'innovation systems' gave up without much of a fight. Both teams converged on the micro-foundations of innovation being the way forward.

Watch the debate here

What profoundly disappointed me was the lack of courage. At a time of global economic crisis and massive industry disruption the innovation scholars are effectively retreating to micro-economics. We know from a century of micro-economics that it does help with macro questions. Economics lacks the unifying 'string theory' and so does innovation. With 50 per cent unemployment in host country for the conference Spain, I personally thought the debate was actually an insult to the populations that pay for academic research.

It doesn't bother me that most of the papers at DRUID were econometrics, that is the standard development of fields of research, it is the development of greater rigour and that is GOOD. BUT when I couldn't see a single paper on unemployment, macro-innovation or industry disruption I am actually angry at the direction of research in my field.

What made it worse, was the presentation by Diane Burton, a labour market economist was brilliant! It highlighted a bunch of issues about our notions of entrepreneurship - big fundamental questions that the previous debate had overlooked. It used to be that Schumpeterian researchers were the ones to ask the tough questions of the patterns of economic development. I think that is true no longer.

Watch the talk here:

Paper session.

Papers 1: evolutionary pattern of change requests to telecommunications technical standards during the 3G and early 4G development process.

Paper 2: using a classification of service innovation types (ie. that is different to product process etc) the paper mapped the changes through time as a service organisation changed one service which then led to another change etc etc... Seemed interesting and I will probably read the paper.

Paper 3. Entrepreneurship, market novelty, econometrics.

1 comment:

  1. Just 2 minor corrections -
    Of course I meant to say;

    We know from a century of micro-economics that it does NOT help MUCH with macro questions.

    With 50 per cent YOUTH unemployment in host country for the conference Spain, ...