Visions of Innovation

Martin Fransman

Published in print May 1999 | ISBN: 9780198289357
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780191596261 | DOI:

Series: Japan Business and Economics Series

Visions of Innovation

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Innovation is the most important force driving economic change. But what drives innovation? In this book, it is argued that the beliefs that shape the way in which people, correctly or incorrectly, ‘see’ their world––i.e. their ‘visions’ of the world––are an important determinant of the innovation process. Visions are particularly important in those cases in which the decision‐making context is ‘fuzzy’––referred to here as situations of interpretive ambiguity––so that the decision‐taker is not certain what to infer. The book begins with an acclaimed critical survey of theories of the firm by some of the most important economists, organization theorists, and business strategists, paying particular attention to the ways in which concepts of information and knowledge are used. The evolution of leading Japanese computer and communications companies––such as NEC, Fujitsu, Toshiba, and Hitachi––is then examined by applying the author's approach to the evolution of firms and industry. The next set of chapters is devoted to an analysis of some of the key decisions relating to innovation made in several of the world's most important firms, such as IBM, AT&T, BT, NTT, and NEC. Finally, attention is turned to Japan, where government policies in biotechnology and other high‐tech fields are designed to strengthen Japanese firms and institutions within the context of a globalizing world economy.

Keywords: companies; decision‐making; economic theory; firms; globalization; government policy; innovation; institutions; Japan; knowledge; vision

Book.  282 pages.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Microeconomics

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Introduction in Visions of Innovation


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