Search for a Common Ground in the Fogs of Innovation Definitions

Bauke van der Kooij

    Research output: Working paper/PreprintWorking paperScientific

    87 Downloads (Pure)


    Defining Innovation is essential for Innovation Research. However, the available definitions of the notion of innovation found in the increasing scholarly publications, show a large heterogeneity creating confusion and incompatibility. In this paper we analyze the innovation-definitions that emerged after WW-II according their different thinking, illustrating the heterogeneity of case-specific definitions. As for research Change & Novelty a generic definition is needed, we try to find a common ground. We apply systems-thinking with the ‘system’ and its ‘function’ at its core. After analyzing the product function, the organizational function and the production function, we conclude that Change & Novelty can be related to the construct of the system and its function. We propose a generic definition based on the stepwise change in the system and its function, that could help to create a better understanding of Change & Novelty in the real world.
    Original languageEnglish
    Publication statusPublished - 2017


    • Definition of Innovation
    • Technological innovation
    • Innovation
    • history of technology


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