Author Koji Tanabe, Chihiro Watanabe
Publish April - September 2005
Title Soft Policy Instruments for Inducing Industrial Innovation in a Service-oriented Economy: a Comparative Analysis of the Vision System and University System
Abstract Under the new paradigm characterized by a shift from an industrial economy to a service-oriented economy that emerged in the 1990s the role of soft policy instruments as Japanís vision system inducing industrial innovation has become crucial. However, it has not functioned as effectively in a service-oriented economy as it did in an industrial economy in identifying and providing future direction, instilling confidence and developing general consensus to induce vigorous R&D investment by industry. Contrary to this, the university system has played a significant role in the United States in stimulating innovative leadingedge activities in a way that is similar to Japanís vision system in the 1980s. These observations suggest that the vision system and university system share a similar function in inducing innovation, with the former being compatible with an industrial economy and the latter corresponding to a service-oriented economy. Both provide future direction for innovation and develop general consensus. However, while the vision system identifies future direction by utilizing in advance foresight and developing general consensus, the university system provides mobile foresight. In other words, it functions and achieves consensus not in advance but in a self-propagating way. While the vision system corresponds to the nature formation mechanism for manufacturing technology, university system corresponds to the similar process in information technology (IT) that leads a service-oriented economy. In addition, this can be attributed to the US governmentís policy for promoting university-industry partnership and this policy functions well in activating the IT nature formation mechanism by stimulating resonance with relevant institutional innovation systems. This paper, on the basis of a comparative empirical analysis of the role of the vision system and university system in Japan and the United States, attempts to demonstrate the above hypothetical view with respect to the use of the vision system and university system as soft policy instruments corresponding to an industrial economy and a service-oriented economy.
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