The New Wealth of Nations
Chapter 4: The Organization of Innovation and the Characteristics-Based Approach
4. The Organization of Innovation and the Characteristics-Based Approach INTRODUCTION This chapter adbresses the following question: how are the various ways of organizing innovation in service firms to be interpreted in the light of an approach to innovation couched in terms of the dynamic of characteristics and of competences? Some aspects of this question were examined in the previous chapter, which focused more on modes or processes than on outcomes or forms of innovation. Our aim here is to go into the question more closely by establishing what a characteristics-based approach might tell us about the various aspects of the organization of innovation in service firms - its determinants, the actors involved, the processes that unfold and the possibilities of protecting it. It is not our aim (allowing for exceptions) to undertake the excessively complex and doubtless futile task of investigating the links between these various aspects of the organization of innovation and all six models of innovation outlined in the previous chapter (the radical, ameliorative, incremental, ad hoc, recombinative and formalization models). After all, depending on the circumstances, each of these models or, to be precise, the innovations to which they give rise, may result from different sources or determinants. Each model may bring into play different actors (individuals, project groups, departments, etc.), different, more or less formalized processes, and so on. It would be pointless, therefore, to seek to establish systematic unilateral relations between our different models of innovation and the various elements in their organization. Consequently, our...
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