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Collaborative Innovation Networks at the International Level: The Arab

Case

James A. Danowski, Ph.D.


University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago, Illinois

Most research on Collaborative Innovation Networks (COINs) defines the


individual within a dense communication network of others as the basic unit of
analysis (Gloor, 2006). Danowski (2009) argued that other units of analysis may
be useful in identifying COINs, analyzing the collaborative networks of a college’s
departments based on their co-appearance in news stories. COINS may be
identified at still higher levels of analysis, such as with organizations or nations
as nodes. There is a unique emergent aspect of creativity at higher social levels.
Because creativity or innovation is dependent for its definition on the
observations of other individuals or higher levels of analysis, an individual node-
centric self-definition of creativity is not recognized. In contrast, when a nation is
the unit of analysis, its position in an international network may result in a duality
of innovation associated with COINS; the intra-node and inter-node levels can
both operate in tandem, or alternatively innovation may be recognized only within
the national node. This paper focuses on innovation as a function of international
network position. The 18 Arab nations have a high density of web connections
among them, evidence for an international Arab COIN. It is hypothesized that
nations within this network that have higher flow betweenness centrality have
more internal innovation. The Arabic and Farsi words for innovation are counted
for each nation. Results support the hypothesis. Centrality in the inter-Arab
national network is associated with intra-nation production of web pages
containing the Arabic term for innovation. In turn, innovation has apparently
different meanings in this network than in Western societies in that there are
positive associations of innovation with pan-Muslim concepts of sharia and jihad,
evidence of the duality.

Download copies of COINs 2009 research and industry papers at ScienceDirect.

Link: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/issue/59087-2010-999979995-
2182758
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Procedia - Social and Behavioral Sciences, Volume 2, Issue 4, The 1st
Collaborative Innovation Networks Conference - COINs2009. Edited by Kenneth
Riopelle, Peter Gloor, Christine Miller and Julia Gluesing.

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The COINs 2010 conference, Oct. 7–9, 2010, is presented by I-Open and the
COINs Collaborative, an initiative of the Savannah College of Art and Design,
Wayne State University College of Engineering Department of Industrial and
Manufacturing Engineering, and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Center for Collective Intelligence. The collaborative builds open knowledge
networks to advance the emerging science of collaboration for research and
industry competitive advantage. Hosted by SCAD. For more information about
the COINs 2010 conference, visit www.coins2010.com.

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