Sensitive innovation: how to conceptualise heterogenic and intangible innovation processes

Bidragets oversatte titel: Sensitiv innovation

Publikation: KonferencebidragPaperForskningpeer review


Present paper discusses sources of innovation as heterogenic and at times intangible processes. Arguing for heterogeneity and intangibility as sources of innovation originates from a theoretical reading in STS and ANT studies (e.g. Callon 1986, Latour 1996, Mol 2002, Pols 2005) and from field work in the area of mental health (Dupret Søndergaard 2009, 2010). The concept of sensitive innovation is developed to capture and conceptualise exactly those heterogenic and intangible processes. Sensitive innovation is therefore primarily a way to understand innovative sources that can be, but are not necessarily, recognized and acknowledged as such in the outer organisational culture or by management. The added value that qualifies these processes to be defined as “innovative” are thus argued for along different lines than in more traditional innovation studies (e.g. studies that build on the classic definition developed by Schumpeter that defines innovation as an effort by one or more individuals to create economic profit through a qualitative change by Schumpeter in 1934). These different lines are to do with acknowledging how innovative sources are heterogenic and intangible. Also, it is argued that to understand the sources of innovation one needs to capture, not only what people are identifying as innovative, but also looking into how artefacts are contributing in creating newness. Further, it is argued that even efforts that are not necessarily acknowledged by the outer organisational culture and/or by management may have important impact on innovating working practices that in turn add value to both the organisation, its staff members and its costumers or users.
Bidragets oversatte titelSensitiv innovation
Publikationsdato15 sep. 2011
Antal sider10
StatusUdgivet - 15 sep. 2011
Udgivet eksterntJa

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