Path to Sustainable Development – a Kaleckian-Schumpeterian Synthesis
Chapter 2: In the Pursuit of Novelty
… dynamic processes causing qualitative transformation of economies basically driven by the introduction of novelties in their various and multifaceted forms. By its very nature, innovation and, in particular, technological innovation is the most exponent and most visible form of novelty. (Hanusch and Pyka, 2007, p.275) Innovation as novelty Innovation has become an important word in the twenty-first century, reflecting all that is modern, progressive and exciting in a complex world. This is reflected in every phase of daily existence in modern capitalist economies. Firms are urged to be innovative to gain or sustain a ‘competitive edge’; consultants advertise their strategic advice as the essence of innovation; the survival of local organizations depends on the capacity building that comes from innovation; schools are exhorted to have innovation in their curriculum; and universities promote themselves as leaders in innovation. Politicians respond to the need to support all of the above through policies to enhance national or regional innovation. However, this is a Panglossian view of innovation. Not all innovation contributes to the progress of humanity or the economies that drive it. The world of innovation includes ‘bads’ as well as ‘goods’. ‘Bads’, like financial innovations destabilizing banking systems, internet pornography degrading vulnerable minors and fossil-fuel technologies desecrating the ecosystem, are examples of technical change which may produce greater economic growth measured by Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in the short period, but not technical progress. Given the wide use of this term, innovation as a process is poorly understood. Deeply rooted in the...
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