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Economics, Evolution and the State

Economics, Evolution and the State

The Governance of Complexity

Edited by Kurt Dopfer

This book focuses on the emerging field of evolutionary economic policy, highlighting the interface between the state, markets, and the evolutionary complexity of modern economies. The contributors explore the possibilities and limitations of governance, and provide a unique platform for the advancement of modern evolutionary economic theory.

Chapter 12: Emergence and Diffusion of Disastrous Innovations – A Case Study

Reiner Peter Hellbrück

Subjects: economics and finance, evolutionary economics


12. Emergence and diffusion of disastrous innovations – a case study Reiner Peter Hellbrück1 INTRODUCTION The central statements are the following: (a) If the ‘circumstances correspond with each other’, then and only then there can be innovations.2 Thesis (a) says that there have to be various conditions present and met so that their combination is sufficient for an innovation. The following conditions are met in the case study: (b) the increase of knowledge is essential, nonetheless it is not yet sufficient to explain the emergence and diffusion of the organisational innovation; (c) the organisational innovation corresponds to the preferences of decision makers and supporters; (d) the danger of disastrous consequences for competing firms adopting an organisational innovation are not sufficient to prevent its diffusion; (e) regarding the broader consensus about the societal advantages of an organisational innovation, the potential harm to business can be neutralised and moreover transformed into a competitive edge. Case studies are only rare in economics. Usually the method of the participating observation is chosen. This case is different; it relates to the author’s own personal work experience in the German health-care system. This working experience relates to the years 1998 until 2000 and the author also participated actively in some projects. The time-frame before July 1998, which is the main focus of this analysis, has neither been actively influenced nor affected by the author. The focus is an organisational innovation and accompanying improvement innovations in diabetes care...

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