Innovation Processes

Keith Pavitt

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 Processes

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  • Business and Management
  • Innovation
  • Organizational Theory and Behaviour



This article is concerned with innovation processes within firms, focusing mainly on innovation within large corporations in advanced countries. It draws on empirical studies of innovation processes, bearing in mind the difficulties for generalization posed by the highly contingent nature of innovation. It presents a short introduction to the many theories and empirical studies of innovation and suggests a simple framework for disaggregating the many innovation activities which take place at the firm level. Three broad, overlapping subprocesses of innovation are identified: the production of knowledge; the transformation of knowledge into artifacts—which mean products, systems, processes, and service; and the continuous matching of the latter to market needs and demands. This article examines key aspects of each of these three subprocesses, showing how each has evolved historically and why they pose such difficult problems for innovation-related managers, entrepreneurs, researchers, and workers.

Keywords: innovation processes; empirical studies; products; systems; processes; service

Article.  11883 words. 

Subjects: Business and Management ; Innovation ; Organizational Theory and Behaviour

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