The Meta-Synthesis of Regional Innovation Models: A Review of 1990–2013

Document Type : Original Article


1 Tarbiat Modares University

2 Malek-Ashtar University of Technology  

3 Malek-Ashtar University


In recent decades, different studies have been conducted on regional innovation development, most of which have been case studies using qualitative research methodologies. Thus, this paper tries to investigate the findings of the related qualitative studies systematically based on the identified themes, and analyze the reasons and contexts of regional innovation models. No similar study has been done so far on regional innovation models. In this study, we investigate 300 papers from Sage and Scopus databases dated from 1990 to 2013, and finally after two stages of screening, 48 papers are identified as high and average quality papers for deep analysis. Then, three themes, and their related sub-themes, are identified based on the findings from meta-synthesis method using open coding method for analyzing the papers. The main themes are: 1) the level of regional development, especially in institutional section; 2) the decrease of governmental intervention in industries and firms; and 3) globalization and the increase of international relations. Also, each theme has several sub-themes used for the analysis. Based on the analysis, the regions are categorized in three clusters with respect to their innovation levels. Early innovators, transitional innovators and advanced innovators are three regional model categories useful for policy-makers to make better decisions. Finally, some suggestions are offered based on the results for innovation development in the region of Iran.


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