Journal of Evolutionary Economics

, Volume 1, Issue 2, pp 93–118 | Cite as

On the nature, function and composition of technological systems

  • B. Carlsson
  • R. Stankiewicz
Article

Abstract

This paper suggests that the economic growth of countries reflects their developmental potential which, in turn, is a function of the technological systems in which various economic agents participate. The boundaries of technological systems may or may not coincide with national borders and may vary from one techno-industrial area to another. The central features of technological systems are economic competence (the ability to develop and exploit new business opportunities), clustering of resources, and institutional infrastructure. A technological system is defined as a dynamic network of agents interacting in a specific economic/industrial area under a particular institutional infrastructure and involved in the generation, diffusion, and utilization of technology. Technological systems are defined in terms of knowledge/competence flows rather than flows of ordinary goods and services. In the presence of an entrepreneur and sufficient critical mass, such networks can be transformed into development blocks, i.e. synergistic clusters of firms and technologies which give rise to new business opportunities.

Key words

Technology Innovation systems Development blocks Networks Economic competence 

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1991

Authors and Affiliations

  • B. Carlsson
    • 1
  • R. Stankiewicz
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of EconomicsCase Western Reserve UniversityClevelandUSA
  2. 2.Research Policy InstituteUniversity of LundLundSweden

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