Innovation and the Creative Process

Innovation and the Creative Process

Towards Innovation with Care

New Horizons in the Economics of Innovation series

Edited by Lars Fuglsang

This book explores new frameworks and methods of understanding and analysing innovation. These are set against a backdrop of ‘innovation with care’, which is seen as a phenomenon that takes place among many actors with different perspectives, ideas and cultures that must be carefully woven together in order to achieve the benefits of innovation.

Chapter 6: Getting Waste to Become Taste: From the Planning of Innovation to Innovation Planning

Gestur Hovgaard

Subjects: business and management, knowledge management, organisational innovation, innovation and technology, knowledge management, organisational innovation


Gestur Hovgaard INTRODUCTION This chapter presents a single case study of the evolution of the Danish food-ingredient company Danmark Protein (DP). Danmark Protein, which today is fully incorporated with the dairy giant Arla, is a world leading producer of highly sophisticated and biotechnologically derived whey proteins. There are at least three major reasons why this company is an interesting case in innovation research. First, the company is founded on the basic idea to turn cheese whey – three decades ago an invasive industrial waste problem – into useful production. Second, when the idea to produce whey proteins emerged some 30 years ago, it was a completely new business to enter. Hence, the technology, the production processes, the organization and the market were basically new. Third, the company was among the first two in the world to produce whey proteins on an industrial scale, and has maintained its leading position by continuously renewing its production base, thus becoming an important contributor to a growing, globally oriented ingredient industry. The idea of this chapter is that such a story can tell us something about innovation with care! The original challenge in innovation research is associated with Schumpeter’s engagement with understanding the emergence of new firms and their role in economic change. Schumpeter found that entrepreneurs possess the capability to be change agents in the economic system (Schumpeter, 1934). However, the classical entrepreneurial paradigm, and the subsequent techno-economic framework for innovation research, do not satisfactorily explain innovations in the modern economy. In short, a changing...

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