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Models of Innovation


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Godin's decade-long study of the history of models of innovation has borne rich fruit. Not only is it the most comprehensive genealogy to date of the concept, revealing its diverse sources in academia, policymaking, and economic practice; it is, at the same time, a penetrating critique of the rhetorical uses and lack of theoretical underpinning of a term that has been attributed strategic importance in science and technology policy for half a century. -- Peter Weingart, Emeritus Professor of Sociology (of Science), Bielefeld University, Germany; South African Research Chair in Science Communication, Stellenbosch University This book is by far the most thorough study of the development of models of innovations available. It widens our understanding of innovation in two important respects. First, it does not limit itself to economics of innovation, or the dominating approach often characterized as evolutionary economics of innovation inspired by the work of Joseph Schumpeter. It also studies the theorizing and uses of innovations in cultural anthropology, sociology, and the management of industrial laboratories of the early 1900s that preceded modern science, technology, and innovation policy. Second, the book traces the emergence of a systems view in industrial research management and in the early science and technology policy of the OECD before the emergence of the national innovation system approach of the late 1980s. It shows how the definitions and classifications created for statistics have influenced how innovations have been understood and defined in policy discourses. With this wide scope the book introduces theorists whose work thus far has remained unnoticed, among them Maurice Holland and William McLaurin. -- Reijo Miettinen, Emeritus Professor, University of Helsinki

About the Author

Benoit Godin is a Professor at the Institut national de la recherche scientifique, Montreal.

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