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Unified economic ideas and their hybrid policies: the case of Swedish life science innovation work

Journal article
Authors Alexander Styhre
Published in Technology Analysis & Strategic Management
Volume 30
Issue 1
Pages 31-43
ISSN 0953-7325
Publication year 2018
Published at Department of Business Administration, Management & Organisation
Pages 31-43
Language en
Keywords Economic ideas, science logic, market logic, life science innovation, research-and-development, management evidence, value relevance, earnings, capitalization, returns, choice, determinants, companies, models, Business & Economics, Science & Technology - Other Topics
Subject categories Business Administration


Institutional theory describes organisations as being open to external influences, including policy-making. Policy-making is in turn based on normative ideas that inform how markets and economies unfold. Policies may include wide-ranging concerns and trade-offs (as in science and industry policy) or may be detailed and specific (as in the case of, e.g. procurement policies in the medical technologies sector), but they tend to play a role in shaping markets. A study of the Swedish life science innovation field suggests that the policy shift in life sciences governance to what Berman [2008. 'Why Did Universities Start Patenting? Institution-building and the Road to the Bayh-Dole Act.' Social Studies of Science 38:835-871] names a market logic. In the present case, the market logic is not sufficiently supported by favourable market conditions, leading to a 'hybrid logic' enforcing an enterprising ethos but otherwise remains couched within a bureaucratic innovation system not providing critical resources conducive to life science innovation - venture capital funds and commercial human resources. The outcome is arguably case of 'over-entrepreneurialisation'.

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