The Idea of Technological Innovation

The Idea of Technological Innovation : A Brief Alternative History

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This timely book explores technological innovation as a concept, dissecting its emergence, development and use. Benoit Godin offers an exciting new historiography of the subject, arguing that the study of innovation originates not from scholars but from practitioners of innovation.

Godin looks to engineers, managers, consultants and policymakers as the instigators of our current understanding of technological innovation. Offering a conceptual history of the subject, Part I considers the many iterations of innovation - as an science applied, outcome, process and system - to track and analyse the changing discourses surrounding technological innovation. In Part II, the author turns to historic and contemporary innovation policy to illustrate the critical role that practitioners have had in formulating and strategizing policy.

Effectively rewriting the historiography of the topic, this book is critical reading for scholars of innovation studies, sociology and the history of science and technology. Students will benefit from Godin's pioneering approach to the subject and policymakers will also find value in the book's unique insight into innovation.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 208 pages
  • 138 x 216 x 19.05mm | 340.19g
  • Cheltenham, United Kingdom
  • English
  • Brief
  • 183910399X
  • 9781839103995

Table of contents

Contents: Introduction 1. Prehistory PART I Technological Innovation 2. Innovation as Science Applied 3. Innovation as Outcome 4. Innovation as Process 5. Innovation as System PART II From Idea to Action 6. Inventing Innovation Policy 7. Innovation Policy Today Conclusion Index
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Review quote

'Benoit Godin's The Idea of Technological Innovation is a telling example of the power of intellectual history. In a brief but analytically crisp and extensively documented historical overview, Godin's "alternative history" unbundles the seemingly inextricable conceptual and policy linkages between research and development and technological innovation, positing instead that the two stages correspond to two discourses, espoused by two different communities. An invaluable work for multiple research and policy communities, but most especially for those engaged in science policy and innovation studies and the economics of technological innovation.' -- Irwin Feller, The Pennsylvania State University, US 'Godin's latest book provides new insights into the history of technology innovation. Tracing back the concept's phases of development from the Second World War to the present, he leaves behind a strictly scholarly point of view and focuses on the valuable contributions of practitioners.' -- Jurgen Howaldt, TU Dortmund University, Germany
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About Benoit Godin

Benoit Godin, Institut National de la Recherche Scientifique (INRS), Canada
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