What does Innovation stand for? Review of a watchword in research policies

Par Vincent Karim Bontems
Innovation is on the agenda of all scientific policies without really being defined. The study of the evolution of the works that argued to have defined a consisting concept of innovation (Bacon, Machiavelli), or developed a coherent theory of innovation (Tarde, Rogers, Schumpeter), provides insight into some weakness of the models of the innovation process (“linear theory”, “chain-linked model”), or even into the contradictions that are occulted by a naïve use of the concept. Innovation therefore appears as a “watchword” legitimizing that “everything changes so that nothing changes”.
JEL codes: O31, O31, G38, O32, B25
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