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Social capital and the evaluation of innovation policies

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This paper discusses necessities, prerequisites, problems and political consequences of including the concept of social capital in the evaluation of innovation policies. Theoretical development and shortcomings to reveal and measure social capital are explained, and basic difficulties of the way to measurement techniques like context-dependence and uncertainties in private and public management of social capital are reviewed against the background of innovation processes. Finally, a view on empirical case studies illustrates the political relevance of strategies to improve the availability of social capital for innovation processes by suitable instruments.

Keywords: social capital, innovation networks, learning economies, organisational learning, new growth theory

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