Innovation: A Guide to the Literature

Jan Fagerberg

in The Oxford Handbook of Innovation

Published in print January 2006 | ISBN: 9780199286805
Published online September 2009 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks in Business and Management

Innovation: A Guide to the Literature

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  • Business and Management
  • Innovation
  • Business History



Innovation is not a new phenomenon. Arguably, it is as old as mankind itself. There seems to be something inherently “human” about the tendency to think about new and better ways of doing things and to try them out in practice. In spite of its obvious importance, innovation has not always received the scholarly attention it deserves. For instance, students of long-run economic change used to focus on factors such as capital accumulation or the working of markets, rather than on innovation. This is now changing. Research on the role of innovation in economic and social change has proliferated in recent years, particularly within the social sciences, and with a bent towards cross-disciplinarity. In fact, as illustrated in this article, in recent years the number of social-science publications focusing on innovation has increased much faster than the total number of such publications.

Keywords: innovation; economic change; capital accumulation; social change; social sciences

Article.  11693 words. 

Subjects: Business and Management ; Innovation ; Business History

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