A central problem in the young discipline of innovation studies is the very definition of its object of study. The term has become a complex semantics involving a myriad of labels and definitions such as technological, green, social, inclusive, open, user-centered, free, among others. What do we currently understand by innovation? How many types of innovation exist today? Which are the so-called hidden and dark innovations? This chapter scrutinizes the literature to provide a comprehensive overview of the meaning and the evolving nature of the term, identifying more than one hundred innovation forms from 1950 to 2019. It analyzes relationships between established, new incumbents, and future trends and explores underpinning mechanisms and theoretical cornerstones that may explain this huge variety.
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