If the approach to innovation developed in the course of this book were to be summed up in a single phrase, then it could be described as being (or seeking to be) integrative, evolutionary and conventionist, in that its constant points of reference have been the characteristics of products and of productive systems. AN INTEGRATIVE ANALYSIS This first term is, in our view, of the utmost importance. There is increasingly less reason to retain the goods/services dichotomy, since it can be reconciled by defining the service relationship as a mode of coordination among economic agents. However, the integrative nature of our analyses of the product and of innovation can be considered at several different levels. Our analyses of the product in terms of characteristics also encompasses the process dimensions (including competences). Thus our apparent reversal of the standard neo-classical approach, with products rather than processes being the starting point, is not what it appears to be, since in our approach processes in fact lie at the heart of the analysis of products. One of the consequences of our concept of the product is that our analyses of innovation encompass the various forms and kinds of innovations. They account for process, organizational and product innovations, for technological and more intangible innovations. Above all, however, our analyses can be applied to both goods and services. The first reason for this is that they have their roots in an adaptation of a formalization, that of Saviotti and Metcalfe, originally developed for the analysis...
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