Title: The introduction of the systems of innovation approach in economics curricula

Authors: Mario Scerri

Addresses: Institute for Economic Research on Innovation (IERI), Faculty of Economics and Finance, Tshwane University of Technology, 159 Skinner Street, 0001 Pretoria, South Africa

Abstract: In this paper, I examine the possible modes of introducing a systems of innovation (SI) approach into economics curricula. I look at the various possible choices of coupling this approach with standard economic curricula and then explore the implications of these various choices. I link this argument with current heterodox debates on the relevance of the neoclassical text and the possibilities of the displacement of its hegemony over the teaching of economics. My main argument is that the current exclusive hegemony of the neoclassical paradigm in most economics programmes constitutes a formidable deterrent to the teaching of the SI approach, except in contained locations at postgraduate levels. I discuss the nature of this hegemony and the reasons for its establishment and then look at the strategic implications for the introduction of the SI approach in economics curricula. My conclusion is that the adoption of the broad definition of this approach could lay the foundation for an overhaul of economics curricula starting at the undergraduate level. This would displace the current mono-lingual economics text with a multi-lingual one with considerable benefits both for the economic discipline and for the teaching of the SI approach.

Keywords: innovation systems; neoclassical economics; heterodox economics; teaching; economics curricula; curriculum; postgraduate students; higher education; universities; undergraduate students; monolingual texts; multilingual texts; SSA; Sub-Saharan Africa; South Africa; technological learning; technological development; development policies; R&D; research and development.

DOI: 10.1504/IJTLID.2012.044874

International Journal of Technological Learning, Innovation and Development, 2012 Vol.5 No.1/2, pp.12 - 27

Available online: 13 Jan 2012 *

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