The ‘Policy Mix’ for Innovation: Rethinking Innovation Policy in a Multi-Level, Multi-Actor Context

34 Pages Posted: 27 Jun 2010 Last revised: 22 Oct 2013

See all articles by Kieron Flanagan

Kieron Flanagan

Manchester Institute of Innovation Research at Manchester Business School

Elvira Uyarra

University of Manchester - Manchester Business School

Manuel Laranja

Technical University of Lisbon - Instituto Superior de Economia e Gestão (ISEG)

Date Written: June 1, 2010

Abstract

Recent years have seen the emergence, take-up and use of the term 'policy mix' by innovation policy makers and by policy analysts & scholars alike. Imported from economic policy debates, the term implies a focus on the interactions and interdependencies between different policies as they affect the extent to which intended policy outcomes are achieved. However the meaning of the term remains ambiguous. Nonetheless, we argue that the emergence of the 'policy mix' concept into common use in the field of innovation policy studies provides us with a window of opportunity to reconsider some basic and often hidden assumptions in order to better deal with a messy and complex, multi-level, multi-actor reality. We draw on the mainstream policy studies literature and on evolutionary thinking in order to re-conceptualise the basic building blocks of innovation policy studies in order to arrive at a useful definition of 'policy mix' interactions. We suggest that this reconceptualisation has profound implications for the scope and focus of innovation policy studies and for what such studies can realistically hope to achieve in terms of policy prescriptions.

Keywords: Policy mix, policy interactions, policy instruments, actors, agency, innovation policy

Suggested Citation

Flanagan, Kieron and Uyarra, Elvira and Laranja, Manuel, The ‘Policy Mix’ for Innovation: Rethinking Innovation Policy in a Multi-Level, Multi-Actor Context (June 1, 2010). Research Policy, Vol. 40, No. 5, pp. 702-713, June 2011, Manchester Business School Research Paper No. 599, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1629744

Kieron Flanagan (Contact Author)

Manchester Institute of Innovation Research at Manchester Business School ( email )

Oxford Road
Manchester, M13 9PL
United Kingdom

HOME PAGE: http://www.mbs.ac.uk/research/innovation

Elvira Uyarra

University of Manchester - Manchester Business School ( email )

Booth Street West
Manchester, M15 6PB
United Kingdom

Manuel Laranja

Technical University of Lisbon - Instituto Superior de Economia e Gestão (ISEG) ( email )

R.Miguel Lupi, 20
Lisbon, 1200
Portugal

HOME PAGE: http://www.iseg.utl.pt/

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