The Governance of Complexity
Edited by Kurt Dopfer
Chapter 12: Emergence and Diffusion of Disastrous Innovations – A Case Study
12. Emergence and diﬀusion of disastrous innovations – a case study Reiner Peter Hellbrück1 INTRODUCTION The central statements are the following: (a) If the ‘circumstances correspond with each other’, then and only then there can be innovations.2 Thesis (a) says that there have to be various conditions present and met so that their combination is suﬃcient for an innovation. The following conditions are met in the case study: (b) the increase of knowledge is essential, nonetheless it is not yet suﬃcient to explain the emergence and diﬀusion of the organisational innovation; (c) the organisational innovation corresponds to the preferences of decision makers and supporters; (d) the danger of disastrous consequences for competing ﬁrms adopting an organisational innovation are not suﬃcient to prevent its diﬀusion; (e) regarding the broader consensus about the societal advantages of an organisational innovation, the potential harm to business can be neutralised and moreover transformed into a competitive edge. Case studies are only rare in economics. Usually the method of the participating observation is chosen. This case is diﬀerent; it relates to the author’s own personal work experience in the German health-care system. This working experience relates to the years 1998 until 2000 and the author also participated actively in some projects. The time-frame before July 1998, which is the main focus of this analysis, has neither been actively inﬂuenced nor aﬀected by the author. The focus is an organisational innovation and accompanying improvement innovations in diabetes care...
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