Innovation through Time

Kristine Bruland and David C. Mowery

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 through Time

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The discussion in this article highlights changes in the structure of the innovation process in successive periods, and is informed by the innovation system concept. In adopting this framework, this article focuses on the changing structure of economic activity, changes in relevant institutions, and changes in patterns of knowledge generation and flows within emergent industrial economies. This article begins by reviewing recent historical interpretations of the impulse toward industrialization in the world economy. It then discusses the changing structure of the innovation process in different phases of industrialization. This discussion includes the widespread appearance of shop-floor-driven technological innovation in eighteenth-century Great Britain and moves forward to consider the invention of the art of invention, to use the philosopher A. N. Whitehead's phrase, in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, with the emergence of organized industrial R&D within the firm.

Keywords: innovation process; innovation system concept; economic activity; industrialization; shop-floor-driven technological innovation

Article.  13027 words. 

Subjects: Business and Management ; Innovation ; Business History

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