An analysis of innovation programmes in Wales along a ‘hard – soft’ policy continuum
: a case study approach

  • Lyndon Murphy

    Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis


    The thesis context is a Welsh innovation policy continuum. The research is primarily located in three innovation programmes representative of innovation policy in Wales. The representative programmes are: the Technium network; Innovation Network Partnership; and Communities First project. The Technium network is considered to be at the hard/tangible end of the policy continuum whilst Communities First is at the softer, more intangible pole of the continuum. The aim of this thesis is to ascertain the influence social capital may have upon levels of innovation across the innovation policy continuum. To achieve the aim, the existence and extent of forms of innovation, forms of social capital, and cooperation and collaboration are considered through a positivist and interpretivist analysis. The resultant data has been further exposed to a correlation analysis, undertaken to ascertain whether or not the presence and form of social capital has an association with forms of innovation. The three programmes each have a pan-Wales presence. The programmes all originate from Welsh Assembly Government innovation policy initiatives between 2001 and 2003. For each programme a case study has been produced. The case studies have been constructed using data from survey, interviews and participant observation. The survey was completed via an on-line questionnaire by representative individuals and groups from each innovation policy continuum programme. Further data was collected by interviews held with individuals representative of roles typically undertaken at each programme. Participant observation undertaken at each programme also informed the creation of the case studies. Literature in this field of study is typically limited to a comparatively narrow investigation of traditionally measured innovation. For social capital and cooperation and collaboration, research usually has a macro scale cynosure. This study has an innovation programme locale in Wales which may be considered unique in terms of innovation and social capital research. ii The findings reveal the existence of forms of innovation, social capital, and cooperation and collaboration at each case study. However, there are differences in terms of the extent of such phenomenon along the innovation policy continuum. For instance, there appears to be an increased likelihood of traditionally measured innovation at the Technium network. Social innovation is more likely to be present at the Communities First project. Similarly, forms of social capital are more likely to be found at Communities First partnerships than at other programmes along the continuum. The correlation analysis applied to the case study survey data discloses a number of, mainly positive statistically significant associations between explanatory social capital, and cooperation and collaboration variables and dependent innovation variables. Propositions resultant of the findings, are likely to be of use to policymakers. For instance, forms of social capital appear to be positively related to traditionally measured, hidden and social innovation. Policymakers considering the design of programmes to boost levels of innovation may be advised to include means of increasing levels of social capital, cooperation and collaboration in their policy and programme proposals and evaluation criteria.
    Date of Award2011
    Original languageEnglish


    • Police-community relations - Wales
    • Police - Wales
    • Community policing - Wales

    Cite this