Local innovation networking dynamics: evidence from South Africa

Irma Booyens, Tim G.B. Hart, Kgabo H. Ramoroka

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)


The dynamics of local innovation networking are under-researched in the global South at large. While the concept of a National Innovation System (NIS) has existed in the South African policy domain for two decades, there is little, if any, empirical evidence of innovation networking at the local level. This paper interrogates the spatiality of network linkages and the networking behaviour of innovative enterprises in rural, as well as urban settings in South Africa. This research, drawn from two unrelated studies, demonstrates that innovative enterprises rely on a broad network of actors. Although local network embeddedness has a particular function, external knowledge is significant for novel innovation. A lack of local governmental support for innovation is also observed. The research provides compelling insights from the South. It is argued the notion of multi-scalar innovation networks is valid for South Africa. This is an alternative view on innovation networking in peripheral areas.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)749-767
Number of pages19
JournalThe European Journal of Development Research
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 20 Nov 2017


  • networking
  • local innovation
  • South Africa


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