***** To join INSNA, visit http://www.insna.org ***** In Search of a Network Theory of Innovations Abstract: As a complement to Nelson & Winter’s (1977) article entitled “In Search of a Useful Theory of Innovation,” we argue that a sociological perspective on innovation networks can be elaborated using Luhmann’s social-systems theory, on the one hand, and Latour’s “sociology of translations,” on the other. The sociology of translations specifies a mechanism for generating variation in relations (“associations”), whereas the systems perspective enables the specification of (functionally different) selection environments such as markets, professional organizations, and political control. Selection environments can also be considered as mechanisms of social coordination that can “self-organize” – the control of human agency – into a regime in terms of interacting codes of communication. Unlike relatively globalized regimes, technological trajectories are organized locally in “landscapes,” and can be purposefully influenced by organizations. A resulting “duality of structure” (Giddens, 1979) between the historical organization of trajectories and evolutionary self-organization at the regime level can be expected to drive innovation cycles. Reflexive translations add a third layer of multiple perspectives to (i) the relational analysis of observable links that shape trajectories, and (ii) the positional analysis of networks in terms of latent dimensions. These three operations can be studied using different methodologies. Latour’s first-order “associations” are thus analytically distinguished from second-order “translations.” However, the resulting operations remain “infra-reflexively” nested, and can therefore lead to innovative reconstructions of previously constructed boundaries. Preprint available at http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=2285487 >> apologies for cross-postings Loet Leydesdorff* & Petra Ahrweiler** *University of Amsterdam, Amsterdam School of Communications Research (ASCoR) ** Europäische Akademie zur Erforschung von Folgen wissenschaftlich-technischer Entwicklungen Bad Neuenahr-Ahrweiler GmbH _____________________________________________________________________ SOCNET is a service of INSNA, the professional association for social network researchers (http://www.insna.org). To unsubscribe, send an email message to [log in to unmask] containing the line UNSUBSCRIBE SOCNET in the body of the message.