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 nodecentric 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:

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. Connect to the COINs 2010 Conference community across these media platforms: o COINs 2010 o Facebook o Flickr o Livestream o Scribd o Slideshare o Twitter o Hashtag #COINS2010 o Vimeo o You Tube 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


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