The Elgar Companion to Innovation and Knowledge Creation
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The Elgar Companion to Innovation and Knowledge Creation

Edited by Harald Bathelt, Patrick Cohendet, Sebastian Henn and Laurent Simon

This unique Companion provides a comprehensive overview and critical evaluation of existing conceptualizations and new developments in innovation research. It draws on multiple perspectives of innovation, knowledge and creativity from economics, geography, history, management, political science and sociology. The Companion brings together leading scholars to reflect upon innovation as a concept (Part I), innovation and institutions (Part II), innovation and creativity (Part III), innovation, networking and communities (Part IV), innovation in permanent spatial settings (Part V), innovation in temporary, virtual and open settings (Part VI), innovation, entrepreneurship and market making (Part VII), and the governance and management of innovation (Part VIII).
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Chapter 15: Innovation and the cultural economy

Andy C. Pratt


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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