Innovation studies: some emerging challenges

Martin, Ben (2012) Innovation studies: some emerging challenges. In: METEOR/UNU-MERIT Joint Seminar, 28 Nov 2012, Maastricht, The Netherlands.

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The field of innovation studies is now approximately half a century old. The occasion has been marked by several studies looking back to identify the main contributions and advances that have been made (see the Special Issue of Research Policy, Vol.41, Issue 7, September 2012). But is it possible to look forward and identify what are likely to be the principal challenges confronting the field over coming decades? In 1900, David Hilbert set out 23 major mathematical problems as challenges to the mathematics community over coming decades. These challenges were to spur the efforts of mathematicians for decades to come. Can one similarly identify a number of crucial challenges for scholars of innovation studies to address over coming decades?
To peer into the future to identify the challenges, we first need to build a robust viewing platform. Given the strong element of continuity and path-dependence involved, the foundations for this are probably best constructed from the major achievements of previous decades. Starting from a list of major advances over the field’s history, the paper proposes a number of challenges for coming decades. Some are couched in similar terms to the advances or major shifts identified over previous decades – i.e. ‘from X to Y’. Others represent more general challenges for the field of IS and its practitioners. These challenges and the underlying arguments have been deliberately couched in a blunt and sometimes critical manner to jolt the reader from taken-for-granted orthodoxies and cosy assumptions, and to encourage them to apply the critical lens that we normally apply to others instead to ourselves. The intention here is to prompt a debate among the innovation studies community on what are, or should be, the key challenges for us, and on what sort of field we aspire to be.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Other)
Additional Information: Invited presentation
Schools and Departments: School of Business, Management and Economics > SPRU - Science Policy Research Unit
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Depositing User: Stacey Goldup
Date Deposited: 25 Oct 2016 08:04
Last Modified: 25 Oct 2016 08:04
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