Why a book on “perspectives on innovation”?
Innovation is nowadays a pervasive issue in both the academic literature and policy debates. It plays a central role in firms' strategies. It is a fundamental element in public policies for growth and competitiveness. It is core to many university programs. Innovation has become a major field of study in economics, management, sociology, science and technology studies, and history. Cases, empirical models, appreciative analyses, and formal theories abound. In economics, various ways of examining innovation have been developed, ranging from the neoclassical paradigm to evolutionary theory, to more institutionalist approaches, to innovation-system views.
In a way, the breadth, length, scope, and sheer visibility of the “innovation problem” have become an issue. The need to articulate what we know about innovation has led to the publication of a variety of textbooks. Also, handbooks of innovation, each with a different twist or focus, are now abundant and well reflect the variety of approaches that scholars in different disciplines have followed to make sense of innovation.
So, why a book about “perspectives on innovation”? Because after several decades of studies on innovation, and so many different types of contribution, it is useful to take stock and ask ourselves again which the main topics of research are. Which are the main unanswered questions?