Edited by Harald Bathelt, Patrick Cohendet, Sebastian Henn and Laurent Simon
Chapter 15: Innovation and the cultural economy
This chapter seeks to understand innovation in the cultural economy. It argues that the normative innovation literature obscures innovation in the cultural economy, and hence this literature and its conceptualisation of knowledge and innovation needs to be revised. The chapter is divided into three parts. First, I review normative innovation practices and their relationship to the philosophy of science. Second, I argue that due to normative assumptions about knowledge, the focus of analysis and empirical investigation is on the transfer of knowledge. The third part proposes a more helpful focus, namely the translation of knowledge, one that expresses the generative, relational and situated nature of knowledge making. The normative model of the ‘leaky pipe’ analogy of knowledge transfer is where the very formation of knowledge is assumed to be concerned with incremental change (that is, minimally innovative). By contrast, the notion of ‘making in translation’ is conceived of as a constructive and constitutive practice: one that is focused on radical change.
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