Schools of innovation thought

Cristina Mele (Corresponding author), Tiziana Russo-Spena, Maaria Nuutinen, Katri Kallio

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter or book articleScientificpeer-review

    4 Citations (Scopus)


    This chapter aims to start a debate about the underlying assumptions of innovation schools (research traditions) in which various frameworks and models have been developed. By identifying the social science research dimensions in innovation studies, we highlight three schools of innovation thought: (1) linear and planned, (2) iterative and interactive, and (3) practice based. A common perspective emerges within each school with regard to how scholars recognize themselves as a research community (sociological) and set meanings and purposes in focusing on social phenomena (teleological) according to specific beliefs about the nature and the structure of these phenomena (ontological) that in turn influence the knowledge scholars can obtain about them (epistemological). The overall process of grasping social reality is affected by researchers' values and axiological skills (ethical). Our main claims are that we should be more aware of the epistemological and ontological assumptions of our research, and we should make those assumptions more explicit. In these ways, we cannot only recognize limitations but also be confident when various stances are working "well enough" for practical purposes. Such knowledge creates paths toward new innovation frameworks that reflect the complexity of innovation phenomena and create better conditions for innovation theorizing.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationInnovating in Practice
    Subtitle of host publicationPerspectives and Experiences
    EditorsTiziana Russo-Spena, Cristina Mele, Maaria Nuutinen
    ISBN (Electronic)978-3-319-43380-6
    ISBN (Print)978-3-319-43378-3, 978-3-319-82807-7
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2016
    MoE publication typeA3 Part of a book or another research book


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