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A revised perspective on innovation policy for renewal of mature economies – Historical evidence from finance and telecommunications in Sweden 1980–1990
Article (with peer review)Publication
Eriksson, K., Ernkvist, M., Laurell, C., Moodysson, J., Nykvist, R. & Sandström, C.
Publication year

2019

Abstract

What is the role of innovation policy for accomplishing renewal of mature industries in Western economies? Drawing upon an unusually rich dataset spanning 9752 digitized archival documents, we categorize and code decisions taken by policymakers on several levels while also mapping and quantifying the strategic activities of both entrant firms and incumbent monopolists over a decade. Our data concerns two empirical cases from Sweden during the time period 1980–1990: the financial sector and the telecommunications sector. In both industries, a combination of technological and institutional upheaval came into motion during this time period which in turn fueled the revitalization of the Swedish economy in the subsequent decades. Our findings show that Swedish policymakers in both cases consistently acted in order to promote the emergence of more competition and de novo entrant firms at the expense of established monopolies. The paper quantifies and documents this process while also highlighting several enabling conditions. In conclusion, the results indicate that successful innovation policy in mature economies is largely a matter of strategically dealing with resourceful vested interest groups, alignment of expectations, and removing resistance to industrial renewal.

Municipally Owned Enterprises as Danger Zones for Corruption? How Politicians Having Feet in Two Camps May Undermine Conditions for Accountability
Article (with peer review)Publication
Bergh, A., Erlingsson, G., Gustafsson, A. & Wittberg, E.
Publication year

2019

Published in
Abstract

The market-inspired reforms of New Public Management have been particularly pronounced in Swedish local government. Notably, municipally owned enterprises (MOEs) have rapidly grown in numbers. Principal-agent theory gives rise to the hypothesis that the massive introduction of MOEs has impacted negatively on the conditions for accountability in Swedish local government. To study this, social network analysis was employed in mapping networks for 223 MOEs in 11 strategically chosen municipalities, covering a total of 732 politicians. The analysis reveals substantial overlaps between principals (representatives of the ultimate stakeholders, citizens) and agents (the boards of the MOEs). Hence, corporatization of public services seems to imply worrisome entanglements between the politicians who are set to steer, govern, and oversee MOEs on the one hand, and the board members of MOEs on the other. The increasing numbers of MOEs may therefore have adverse effects on accountability in important and growing parts of Swedish local government.

The role of business networks for innovation
Article (with peer review)Publication
Öberg, C.
Publication year

2019

Abstract

A business network consists of directly and indirectly connected companies, where social and economic ties help to understand these connection. Innovations could be seen to relate to business networks in two ways: they may result from interaction between business partners, or they would need to fit into, or through changes to interaction patterns among various business partners, be fitted into new or current business networks. In the literature on innovation, the incremental, radical, or disruptive characteristics of the innovations are frequently described as degrees of newness. This paper categorizes characteristics of business networks based on their role to create various types of innovations, and based on the various types’ consequences for the business network. The empirical part of this paper is based on six case-study examples from interviews performed by the author. The findings suggest links between the type of innovation, and the role of the network and network consequences. The paper contributes to previous research through discussing the role of business networks for various types of innovation. Furthermore, the paper contributes to previous research through indicating the various types of innovations’ consequences for the business network. Most previous research on business networks and innovation only concerns itself with how various parties participate in idea generation and co-development of innovations, while the consequences for the business network is not described extensively.

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