Title: Power paradoxes in national innovation systems – an exploratory study among Singapore's technocrats and technopreneurs

Authors: Pi-Shen Seet

Addresses: University of Adelaide, South Australia 5005, Australia

Abstract: This paper explores the complex power relationship in Singapore|s National Innovation System (NIS), specifically between two major groups of players, namely, the technology entrepreneurs or |technopreneurs| and NIS bureaucrats and policy makers or |technocrats| in the context of a NIS that is itself struggling to reconcile the contradictions of transforming itself to support a more entrepreneurial economy for the twenty-first century. The study uses Lukes| (1974) three-dimensional classification of power as a framework to study both observable and unobservable exercises of power. And using Hampden-Turner|s (1990, 2000) dilemma methodology as an interpretive lens, the research finds that unlike the consensual power relationship that is assumed, the power relationship is largely tilted towards the technocrats and away from the technopreneurs with three major patterns of power paradoxes as follows: (1) the Meritocratic effect, (2) the Multinational Corporation – Government-Linked Corporation (MNC-GLC) effect and (3) the Process-engineering effect.

Keywords: national innovation systems; Singapore; bureaucracy; technology entrepreneurs; technopreneurship; entrepreneurship; power relations.

DOI: 10.1504/IJFIP.2009.026403

International Journal of Foresight and Innovation Policy, 2009 Vol.5 No.4, pp.260 - 276

Published online: 09 Jun 2009 *

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