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 7: Public Innovation with Care: A Quantitative Approach

Lars Fuglsang, Jeppe Højland and John Storm Pederson

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


Lars Fuglsang, Jeppe Højland and John Storm Pedersen INTRODUCTION Innovation with care is an approach to innovation that investigates some of the tensions that exist in innovation processes between creativity and innovation (Amabile et al., 1996), exploration and exploitation (March, 1991) or, as we will emphasize in this chapter, variation and selection (see Nelson and Winter, 1977). According to the model discussed here, capturing benefits from innovation requires, on the one hand, that a variety of creative approaches and ideas exist inside a particular domain of development and innovation. On the other hand, it also requires recognition, selection and aggregation mechanisms that ensures that some of those ideas are selected, assuming that some of them are better or more appropriate than others. We can distinguish between a domain of innovation such as an institution (like a public school) in which creative ideas, variation and selection may exist, and a field of innovation in the broader context of that single institution, where recognition and selection of important ideas takes place (see Csikszentmihalyi, 1996 see also the chapters by Møller and Fuglsang in this book). Recognition and selection which takes place in the broader context of innovation is a mechanism that can be understood both as a driver of innovation and as a mechanism for capturing the benefits of innovation. It is a driver of innovation because it pays attention to and recognizes distinctive innovative activities, for example by rewarding innovative people. And it implies selection, diffusion...

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