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Benoît Godin and Dominique Vinck
The study of innovation became voluminous with a lot of theories, models, frameworks, narratives and handbooks but still reflect an innovation bias. The theorists contribute to the construction of a dominant representation of innovation, an ideology, as technological and industrial, and as a good for the economy and the society. Little attention is paid to the non-innovators. Starting with the question ‘what has been left out?’, this book suggests a change of approach. It examines innovation from a different perspective, dealing with phenomena rarely taken seriously by scholars of innovation: resistance to innovation, non-adoption, sluggishness of innovators, imitation, non-users, failure, outlaw innovation, unintended consequences, maintenance of (existing) innovation, non-innovators, de-adoption, slow innovation, innovation fads, re-shaping and adaptation of the innovation, rationale for not innovating, the social and political nature of innovation and so on. The purpose of this book is to assemble studies on these phenomena and to examine them under the umbrella of NOvation.
Innovation theorists relegate to non-existence a series of concepts outside the semantic field of innovation. Such is the case of imitation. The chapter looks at when, how and why imitation, as an early meaning of innovation, was removed from the discourses on innovation. The chapter suggests that cultural values, disciplinary work, market ideology and semantics are key factors in explaining the neglect of imitation in discourses on innovation, particularly theories.
Pierre Delvenne and François Thoreau
In this chapter, the authors engage with the widespread and influential approach of national innovation systems (NISs). They discuss its adequacy to non-OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development) countries, especially in Latin America, where it is abundantly implemented and tends to be reified, which leads to a situation where relevant contextual elements tend to be ignored. Although the NISs approach is meant to address the most pressing needs of the economies it applies to, namely solving poverty, reducing social inequalities, increasing productivity and creating jobs, the authors argue that it would benefit from developing a more encompassing scope, allowing integration of greater diversity and complexity. By retracing the history of regimes of science, technology and innovation (STI) in Latin America, the authors explore the problems faced by actors willing to use NISs more reflexively. They hereby discuss the effectiveness of STI policies in non-OECD countries. Finally, they formulate a research agenda with three suggestions for further engaging NISs both conceptually and practically. Using such analytical perspectives, they argue, might benefit scholarly work about NISs and could also allow for a better articulation with STI regimes in Southern countries.
Stefan Kuhlmann and Gonzalo Ordóñez-Matamoros
Leïla Kebir, Véronique Peyrache-Gadeau, Olivier Crevoisier and Pedro Costa
As an introduction to this book, this chapter provides insights on the evolution of innovation patterns, and in particular when dealing with sustainable issues. It highlights the relationship between territory and sustainable innovations and identifies the relationships that such innovations (re)build with territory, as well as the forms of localization that they induce. It presents the four dimensions of sustainable innovation identified in the case studies presented in the following chapters: product, institutional, territory and flagship dimensions. Finally the chapter concludes with some considerations on the innovative milieu concept in regard to the present context of innovation and territorial development.
Christian Livi, Pedro Araujo and Olivier Crevoisier
Based on two case studies, this chapter studies the articulation between sustainable innovations and territories. Using the conventionalist approach, and in particular the idea of the sustainability convention, this chapter analyses the territorial, economic and social dynamics of sustainable innovations in Western Switzerland’s photovoltaic industry and sustainable finance. The main result is that, contrary to ‘classical milieus’ where the innovative efforts are mainly on the supply side, sustainable innovations redefine considerably the relations with consumers, users and even citizens. The chapter concludes with a reflection on the concept of innovative milieu and its cognitive, financial and discursive aspects.