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Non-technological and non-economic innovations

Contributions to a theory of robust innovation

Steffen Roth

There is a peculiar dissonance in innovation research. On the one hand, the label innovation is applied to almost everything: new products, processes, services, methods, techniques. Even the diffusion of innovations to all spheres of society is called innovation. On the other hand, we find that the main focus of innovation research is still on bringing technology to market.
This dissonance provoked the central questions discussed at the 2nd International Conference on Indicators and Concepts of Innovation (ICICI 2008) on «Non-technological and non-economic innovations and their impact on economy» hosted by the Competence Centre for Management at the Berne School of Business and Administration: What forms and dimensions of non-technological and non-economic innovations can nonetheless be found both theoretically and empirically? What impact do these innovations have on the economy? Are there actually innovations without a non-technological and non-economic dimension, viz. purely technological or economic innovations?
Consisting of selected answers to these questions, this volume presents international scholarly approaches beyond the «technology goes economic market» mainstream of innovation research. They are integrated in a theoretical framework for the analysis of socially robust innovations, i.e. innovations that succeed on more than one market and are therefore both more sustainable and more profitable.
The 2nd International Conference on Indicators and Concepts of Innovation (ICICI 2008) has been supported by the SCOPES programme of the Swiss National Science Foundation.
Contents: Steffen Roth: Introduction: Towards a Theory of Robust Innovation – Lukas Scheiber: Economy and Technology: About the Hard Core of Innovation and Its Future Change – Veronique Favre-Bonte/Elodie Gardet/Catherine Thevenard-Puthod: A Typology of Innovations in Retail Banking – Hardik Vachhrajani: The Role of Non-Technological Innovations in the Growth of the Engineering Industry, Economy and Society of Rajkot (India) – Hans-Werner Franz: Social Science Production or Social Innovation by Social Production of Science? – Nikolay Trofimov: Organizational and Managerial Innovations in Large Companies and Their Impact on Technological Innovations and Innovation Strategies – Alexander Kesselring: Social Innovation in Private Companies: An Exploratory Empirical Study – Jens Aderhold: Rationalities of Innovation – Jari Kaivo-oja: Integrating Innovation and Foresight Research Activities: Key Models and Challenges in Non-Technical and Non-Economic Innovation Actions – Valentina Pomazan/Lucian Petcu: Innovation Indicators for Scientific and Technical Higher Education – Hugues Jeannerat/Olivier Crevoisier: From Proximity to Multi-Location Territorial Knowledge Dynamics: The Case of the Swiss Watch Industry.