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The Politics and Practice of Innovation: Implications for Economic Growth of the Sheffield City Region

Capener, Joel (2019) The Politics and Practice of Innovation: Implications for Economic Growth of the Sheffield City Region. PhD thesis, University of Sheffield.

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Innovation, due to the potential significant benefits which innovation led growth may provide in promoting sustained economic development at both national and regional scale, has become an increasingly prevalent part of national and regional economic strategies. As a result of this the best way in which innovation should be supported and at what scale has become an issue of significant importance and attention by policy makers, practitioners and academics alike. Rescaling is another issue, one which is both separate to, yet intimately related to innovation. Along with the devolution and rescaling of regions within the empirical context of the UK, in the literature of both innovation systems and regional studies, there has been an increasing push towards the devolution of power and decision making control to smaller scales of governance, bringing into question the role and place of localism for innovation led growth. In order to gain an in-depth understanding of the issues surrounding these areas and the implications of the multiscalar perspective for innovation-led growth, this thesis conducted qualitative research within the empirical context of the SCR, a weakly mono-centric region, with historically lagging innovation and growth rates. This thesis thematically presents the findings from 16 interviews conducted with regional stakeholders and 30 interviews conducted with innovative firms within the SCR’s three main innovative industries: advanced manufacturing, healthcare and digital and creative, taking a multiscalar approach to the investigation of this topic, in contrast to other studies looking at innovation from a static, singular innovation systems perspective. From these findings, this research demonstrates how definitional complexity associated with the term innovation is having both practical and negative effects on the way in which innovation is supported, highlights the significant challenges of localism for fostering and supporting innovation-led growth, and argues that path dependency may be used as a tool for explaining not only the development of regional specialisms, but also the reason why innovation systems may be created at some scales but not others.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Academic Units: The University of Sheffield > Faculty of Social Sciences (Sheffield) > Management School (Sheffield)
Identification Number/EthosID: uk.bl.ethos.767299
Depositing User: Dr Joel Capener
Date Deposited: 25 Feb 2019 09:37
Last Modified: 25 Sep 2019 20:06
URI: http://etheses.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/23001

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