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day, the systemic approach to innovation plays a central and somewhat unifying role within the field of innovation studies. The main tenets of the approach were developed during the last decades of twentieth century by a group of researchers who were tackling with the problem of the economic nature of innovation and its role in growth and competitiveness. The innovation
systems approach spread out rapidly throughout the globe and established itself as a framework for studying and policy making in academia and national and supranational organizations. This vast and fast expansion, however, was accompanied by a set of critical contemplations on the theoretical soundness of the approach and also by some debates about the paths through which the approach should be developed further in the future. This book is founded upon the idea that a detailed analysis on the epistemological nature of innovation systems approach could clarify the basis of the aforementioned debates. Such an analysis could also enhance the epistemological and methodological consciousness in the field of innovation studies and science and technology policy In this book, we study the emergence of innovation systems approach as a conceptual revolution against the orthodox view in the economics of innovation. To do so, we adopt insights from the cognitive/philosophical field of conceptual change and especially examine the theory of conceptual revolutions developed by contemporary philosopher Paul Thagard. We do detailed analyses on kinds, degrees, and mechanisms of conceptual changes occurred during the evolution of the innovation systems approach. Furthermore, we discuss the competition between the systemic approach and its main challenger, the neoclassical approach to knowledge and innovation applying a set of criteria for justification in science. The study demonstrates that the innovation systems approach triggered a set of fundamental and critical modifications not only in the neoclassical conceptual apparatus but also deeper, in its epistemological and methodological foundations, strategies of explanation and problem solving, and even the ways by which the main problems are given priority in this school of thought.