The Role of Democratic Governance in the Growth of Knowledge



The governance mechanisms that might sustain the generation of valid and valuable new knowledge have not been especially central in contemporary research programmes in organization, management and economics, more concerned with mechanisms for knowledge transferring and knowledge sharing. This chapter  contributes in identifying and assessing the governance mechanisms that may facilitate discovery and the growth of knowledge.The first three sections reviews the strengths and weaknesses  of  governance mechanisms of the market-like, bureaucratic and communitarian variety in sustaining economic discovery and innovation. The last section mobilizes contributions from organization theory  and organizational economics,  and develops the argument that  the important family of constitutional and democratic governance  mechanisms  is under-represented in the commonly envisaged portfolio of governance mechanisms, while it is likely to be a necessary component of  the governance structures for  innovation . Relevant empirical evidence on innovative firms and inter-firm alliances is then considered. The results suggest that  combinations of those democratic components with highly mobile resources and highly powerful incentives are particularly effective in the governance of innovation both within and across firms. 
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Babs Verploegh