Institutional Analysis of Innovation Systems: An Attempt of Interdisciplinary Approach

CES VSEM Working Paper No. 16/2005

22 Pages Posted: 20 Jan 2006

See all articles by Karel Mueller

Karel Mueller

Centre for Economic Studies VSEM

Date Written: January 16, 2006


The paper deals with the issue of institutional analysis of national innovation systems or infrastructures for support of innovation. It takes into account the findings of comparative studies of national innovation systems and innovative firms, which are indicating that innovation performance is not positively related to a scale of innovation resources or the shape of their distribution only but in particular to their institutional framework and its propensity to change. Closer look at databases about institutional setting and its theoretical concepts are indicating that the institutional analysis is constrained by inadequate understanding and theorizing about nature of institutions. The discussion is based on application of Hollingsworth's model of institutional change in the innovative environment and its advancement with respect to experience of radical institutional change in the new EU member countries. In order to attain such step a wider social science approach is discussed: insight of social sciences and humanities in the constraining and facilitating role of institutions, more specific understanding of social sciences about functional differentiation of modern societies and institutional framework for its control and last but not least the understanding of historical context of institution building and re-building in the context of modernity. The advantages of such diversified approach have been used to specify differences in institution building between the old and new EU member countries. It is claimed that important difference is related to the way, how functional and practical resources, regulatory and self-regulatory patterns are mediated. In the final discussion some analytical approaches are suggested which would enable the study of the cultural context of institutional change in an innovative environment.

Keywords: institution, institutional change, innovation, science, technology, reflexivity, trust, culture, modernity, modernisation, regulatory pattern, self-regulatory properties

JEL Classification: A12, D02, O31, O32, O38, P39

Suggested Citation

Mueller, Karel, Institutional Analysis of Innovation Systems: An Attempt of Interdisciplinary Approach (January 16, 2006). CES VSEM Working Paper No. 16/2005, Available at SSRN: or

Karel Mueller (Contact Author)

Centre for Economic Studies VSEM ( email )

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