A Global Resource
Edited by René von Schomberg and Jonathan Hankins
Chapter 8: Is innovation always good for you? New policy challenges for research and innovation
Traditionally innovation is being associated with a positive image. At the policy level, it is practically impossible to be negative about innovation. Yet, the policy slogan ‘“Innovation is good for you’ remains surprising given that innovation failure rather than innovation success appears to have been the most common feature of innovation processes. Both the historical and international evidence highlights that innovation, and more broadly the introduction of new technologies, do not always represent Schumpeterian processes of ‘creative destruction’, that is, processes which renew a society’s dynamics leading to higher levels of economic development, destroying a few incumbents to the benefit of many, but now and then seem to represent the exact opposite pattern: processes of ‘destructive creation’ with innovation benefiting a few at the expense of many. The underlying causes for such destructive-creation processes and the policy challenges they pose call for close attention.
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