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Journal of Innovation Economics & Management

2014/3 (n°15)

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Innovation is on the agenda of all scientific policies without really being defined. The study of the evolution of the works that argued to have defined a consisting concept of innovation (Bacon, Machiavelli), or developed a coherent theory of innovation (Tarde, Rogers, Schumpeter), provides insight into some weakness of the models of the innovation process (“linear theory”, “chain-linked model”), or even into the contradictions that are occulted by a naïve use of the concept. Innovation therefore appears as a “watchword” legitimizing that “everything changes so that nothing changes”.
JEL codes: O31, O31, G38, O32, B25

Key words

  • innovation
  • invention
  • research policies
  • research and development
  • Schumpeter

Plan de l'article

  1. The forgotten origins of reflection on innovation: Machiavelli and Bacon
  2. Three distinct research traditions in sociology, economics and history and philosophy of technology
  3. Synthesis – from the linear theory to the chain-linked model
  4. Conclusion

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