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What is our current understanding of innovation and how many types of innovation do we know? Broadly, innovation landscapes are characterized by well-established categories, such as product, process, organizational, and marketing innovation, explained and theorized in terms of their links with technological innovation. However global challenges and changes in the structure of knowledge production, have led to diverse innovations, and recognizing and classifying such innovations is more complex, fragmented, and geographically dispersed than ever before. The progressive incorporation of hidden and non-technological innovations, together with the emergence of the fourth industrial revolution, is contributing to change our understanding of innovation and its measurement. This paper provides an overview of the most salient types of innovation in recent decades, enabling both researchers and practitioners to navigate the complex web of innovation definitions and typologies. Innovation studies face the challenge of finding a comprehensive and inclusive definition that captures the significance of innovation, and overcoming the terminological ‘Babel'ization and increased fragmentation of the field of innovation research. Keywords: Innovation, Nature of innovation, Innovation types, Knowledge society, Technological innovation, Social innovation
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The nature and variety of innovation
onica Edwards-Schachter
Collaborator at Polytechnic University of Valencia, Camino de vera s/n. 46022, Valencia, Spain
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Article history:
Received 13 June 2018
Accepted 2 August 2018
Available online xxx
Nature of innovation
Innovation types
Knowledge society
Technological innovation
Social innovation
What is our current understanding of innovation and how many types of innovation do we
know? Broadly, innovation landscapes are characterized by well-established categories, such
as product, process, organizational, and marketing innovation, explained and theorized in
terms of their links with technological innovation. However global challenges and changes
in the structure of knowledge production, have led to diverse innovations, and recognizing
and classifying such innovations is more complex, fragmented, and geographically dispersed
than ever before. The progressive incorporation of hidden and non-technological in-
novations, together with the emergence of the fourth industrial revolution, is contributing to
change our understanding of innovation and its measurement. This paper provides an
overview of the most salient types of innovation in recent decades, enabling both re-
searchers and practitioners to navigate the complex web of innovation denitions and ty-
pologies. Innovation studies face the challenge of nding a comprehensive and inclusive
denition that captures the signicance of innovation, and overcoming the terminological
Babel'ization and increased fragmentation of the eld of innovation research.
©2018 Publishing Services by Elsevier B.V. on behalf of KeAi Communications Co., Ltd. This
is an open access article under the CC BY-NC-ND license (
1. Introduction
The vast body of existing literature leaves little doubt about the relevant role of innovation to the dynamics of economic
growth and socioeconomic development (Chen, Yin, &Mei, 2018;Fagerberg, Martin, &Andersen, 2013;Lundvall, 2016).
Overall, innovation describes a sense of purpose to the evolution of humanity, explained in terms of creative capacity of
invention as a source of technological, social, and cultural change. At the same time, innovation has become a Holy Grail in
economic growth and sustainability agendas worldwide (OECD, 2016;Fagerberg, 2018). Despite the vast body of literature
available, it is very difcult to provide a comprehensive denition of the term and clearly describe its nature. Innovation is a
multidimensional concept that includes varied meanings and denitions from the perspective of different disciplines, some of
them co-exist in emergent elds such as innovation studies (IS) (Fagerberg &Verspagen, 2009), while others are considered
outsiders(Chen et al., 2018;Cunningham, 2013;Edwards-Schachter &Wallace, 2017).
Several authors have tried to capture the essentials of innovation and establish common innovation typologies (Garcia &
Calantone, 2002;Linton, 2009;Oke, 2007). However, as of yet innovation is an umbrella term involving a myriad of
innovation types described as buzz wordsor container concepts.Innovation is not only technologicalbut also social,
transformative(Edwards-Schachter, 2016). The appearance of new denitions indicates evolution of the concept of inno-
vation and the inuence of historical and sociocultural contexts where innovation types emerge (Fagerberg &Verspagen,
2009;Godin, 2015;Gupta et al., 2003).
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vation Studies (2018),
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International Journal of Innovation Studies xxx (2018) 1e15
Recent contributions from mainstream Innovation Studies (IS) are stimulating a debate among innovation scholars about
the future of IS (Fagerberg et al., 2013;Lundvall, 2013;Martin, 2016;Fagerberg, 2018). This discussion involves the lack of
attention to the interrelationship between technological and non-technological factors that inuence the generation and
diffusion of successful innovation, social dimensions of innovation processes, and the type of value generated, among others.
Martin (2016, p. 434) notices, the growing amount of innovative activity that is going on but it is just not visible using
existing measurement instruments.Furthermore, Fagerberg et al. (2013, p. 11) afrm that the way in which we concep-
tualize, dene, operationalize, and analyze innovationis rooted in the past, leaving us less able to grapple with other less
visible forms of innovationMartin (2013, p.11). uses the term dark innovationinstead of the more common hidden
innovation(Miles &Green, 2008) to name innovations which, in his words, have been ignored or are essentially invisiblein
terms of conventional indicators(Martin, 2016, p. 434). Dark innovations include user innovations and innovations that are
based on design, branding, software or other intangible investments rather than R&D together with below-the-radar
innovation activities, particularly in developing economies in particular social innovation social innovation. Martin (2016)
concludes that the challenge to the next generation of IS researchers is to conceptualize, dene, and come up with
improved methods for measuring, analyzing and understanding dark innovation.’”
This paper contributes in providing an overview of the most salient innovations in recent decades, some of them well
established, and others new entrants and evolving concepts. The principal purpose is to provide a big picturethat enables
researchers and practitioners to navigate the complex web of meanings and types underlying the changing nature of
2. Reviewing the nature of innovation process: some core aspects and new incumbents
Classical denitions of innovation derive from the economic and managerial strands of IS, being the principal focus the role
of technology and evolution in the production and application of scientic and technological knowledge (the couple research
and development, R&D) over time. According to Martin (2016, p. 434), innovation in the 1960s related exclusively to
manufacturing in developed countries, it was technology-based, involved prior R&D, developed by large companies, often on
the basis of R&D conducted in their own labs, and frequently involved patenting. He acknowledges that most indicators
developed to measure such innovations may be missingmuch of the innovative activity that is opposite, i.e., incremental,
not in the form of manufactured product innovations, involves little or no formal R&D, and is not patented.
Invention,”“novelty,and changedescribe the nature of innovation. Together, they comprise a set of characteristics
according to the process and elements involved, such as purposes, actors, drivers and resources, inputs, activities and out-
comes, value generation, structural and institutional context, and other contextual factors. It is noteworthy that all these
elements/aspects have experienced and continue to experience rapid changes that challenge the classical scope and denitions
of innovation as technological innovation.
2.1. Tangible versus intangible inventions as a source of innovation
Innovation is considered as both the process and outcome of creating or inventing something new and valuable that
produces broader effects in the economy and technological advances. In Nelson &Winter's classical essay (1977, p. 36), the
term innovation was used as a portmanteau to cover the wide range of variegated processes by which man's technologies
evolve over time.Freeman (1974, p. 22) dened innovation related to invention as intrinsic to technological change: an
invention is an idea, a sketch, or a model for a new or improved device, product, process, or system.Although closely linked,
invention and innovation are very distinct: a requisite is the successful introduction or commercialization and marketing of
an invention. Schumpeter (1934, p. 88) afrmed, as long as they are not carried out into practice, inventions are economically
irrelevantand, more explicitly, Freeman (1974, p. 22) maintains, an innovation in the economic sense is accomplished only
with the rst commercial transaction.
Two aspects related to invention as a source of dark innovationsshould be considered. On the one hand, as Porter (1990)
highlighted, inventions need not result in something tangible. He dened innovation as a new way of doing things (termed
invention by some authors) that is commercialized(p. 780). Social inventions and service social inventions are not R&D
based technological inventions (Conger, 1974,1984). Conger (1974) refers to social service inventions(p. 93) as social in-
novations to alleviate social needs.On the other hand, the relevance of inventions is in terms of societal demand (the
emergent social market) and the production of social impact. One of the challenges to IS, as highlighted by Martin (2016),is
the transformation in the concept of progress and societal goals, from innovation for wealth creation to innovation for
wellbeing (or from more is betterto enough is enough(p. 436). Another related issue that needs more attention is the
difference between disruptive and radical innovations attending to the different types of inventions and the process of
introduction and/or recombination of ideas and the degree of novelty.
2.2. Purpose and responsibility of innovation: from economic growth to sustainability transition
A decade ago, a report published by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) pointed out the
emergence of a new nature of innovationthat differentiates it from innovation in the industrial era (Prahalad, McCracken, &
McCracken, 2009). According to this report, there are four trends or drivers that explain the gradual transformation of how
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companies innovate, namely global challenges and changes in the public sector and welfare policies, global knowledge
sourcing, collaborative networks, and new ways of co-creating value with customers and tapping into knowledge concerning
users. A study covering six decades of social innovation (Edwards-Schachter &Wallace, 2017) shows that the consolidation of
technological innovation was in parallel with the growth of environmental concerns, encompassing successive calls to our
innovation capacity to answer survival challenges (see, e.g., Fairweather, 1972;Meadows, Goldsmith, &Meadows, 1972). More
recently, such claims are referred to grand challengesinvolving wickedproblems that are complex, systemic, inter-
connected, and urgent(Mazzucato, 2017, p. 5). Mazzucato (2017) highlights the need to establish mission-oriented inno-
vation policiesand Fagerberg (2017,p.3)afrms, innovation must play an important role in the transition towards
sustainabilityfacing the challenge to provide good models for how policy may help in mobilizing innovation for this
purpose.Although many types of innovation have emerged since 1960, driven by the aspiration of changing our production
and consumption systems and global environmental concerns (Edwards-Schachter, 2016), mainstream attention is a recent
phenomenon focusing on technological solutions rather than the necessary changes in social practices; i.e., in social in-
novations (see, for e.g., the discussion paper Twenty challenges for innovation studies,Martin, 2016). Narrowly connected with
the double challenge represented by the global environmental crisis and the new wave of technological advancements
commensurate with the fourth industrial revolution (4IR) is the management of risks and generation of a new incumbent:
Responsible Innovation.
2.3. From the central role of rms to multi-stakeholder collaborative innovations
For the mainstream of IS and the early theories, in the so-called Schumpeter Mark Ipattern, individual heroicen-
trepreneurs mostly develop innovations. However, the central agent of innovation processes, especially attending to their
economic effects, are large rms, considered by the Schumpeter Mark IIpattern. Both scopes are central to entrepre-
neurship studies (Lundvall, 2013). At the macro level the Schumpeterian perspective links the notion of innovation to the
dynamic process of creative destructionby which old structures (and ideas) are replaced by new ones, which remains the
most inuential aspect of the post-industrial society (Schumpeter, 1942).
Lundvall (2013, p. 33) suggests that innovation as interactive learning process should be the core of IS. In his words, the
closest we get to such a core in innovation studies is the conceptualization of innovation as an interactive process involving
many actors and extending over time.The analysis focuses on individuals with heterogeneous skills or organizations with
heterogeneous capabilities that interact with each other. They typically engage in information exchange, problem solving, and
mutual learning as part of the process of innovation. During this process, they establish relationshipsthat may be inter-
preted as forming organizations, networks, clusters, or even innovation systems.Such many actorsare not only individual
entrepreneurs and rms but also other agents belonging to the public and third sectors, e.g., activists, social entrepreneurs,
NGOs, government agencies, and states. Ample literature exists about cross-sector partnerships, but attention to innovation
processesis very recent. Garud, Tuertscher, and Van de Ven (2013) analyze innovation processes considering the partici-
pation of rms, multi-party networks, and communities. Additionally, intrinsic to the interactive process of learning is the
notion of social practice and the contribution of evolving social practices to both social and technological change, which lacks
in the mainstream IS eld, and is studied in management but not linked with innovation (Edwards-Schachter &Wallace,
3. Innovation types
3.1. Technological innovation
The inheritance of Schumpeter's typology remains in the classic concept of innovation centered on technological inno-
vation. In his own words: the opening of new domestic or foreign markets and the organizational development from the
craft shop and factory,such as steelmaking, illustrate a process of industrial mutation that incessantly revolutionizes the
economic structure from within, which is destroying the old structures and creating a new one(Schumpeter, 1942, pp.
82e83). This concept with focus on the manufacturing sectors and strongly based on research and development (R&D) is
present in the categories established by manuals for statistical measurement of innovation in the business sector accom-
panied by non-technological forms of innovation (e.g., OECD, 2005;2017).
The rst and second editions of the Oslo Manual (1992,1997) used the technological product and process (TPP) denition
of innovation with a focus on technological developmentof new products and new production techniques by rms. The latest
edition of the Oslo Manual recognized the importance of innovation in less R&D-intensive industries, such as services and
low-technology manufacturing, and expanded the denition to include organizational and marketing innovations (non-
technological innovations). This edition, currently under revision, establishes that an innovation is the implementation of a
new or signicantly improved product (good or service), or process, a new marketing method, or a new organizational
method in business practices, workplace organization or external relations(Oslo Manual, 2005, p. 46). These innovation
types represent the different ways by which rms make changes to improve their performance and economic outcomes, and
ultimately contribute to the accumulation of knowledge.
Ample literature has contributed to the understanding of the nature of technological innovation, particularly analyzing the
dynamics of technological change and technological innovation systems. Garcia and Calantone (2002) point out that
M. Edwards-Schachter / International Journal of Innovation Studies xxx (2018) 1e15 3
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technological innovations have two forcesfrom which discontinuities may originate, from a marketing direction, or from a
technological direction. They afrm, product innovation may require new marketplaces to evolve, and/or new marketing
skills for the rm. Similarly, product innovation may require a paradigm shift in the state of science or technology embedded
in a product, new R&D resources, and/or new production processes for a rm. Some products, of course, may require dis-
continuities in both marketplace and technological factors.
As we commented earlier, typically, technological innovation is investigated by linking inputs in terms of investment in
R&D to outputs in terms of patents or new products and manufacturing processes. Being at the core of the National Inno-
vation System construct, a recent update recognizes the existence of a distortive implementation and biasthat are reected
in studies of innovation that focus on science-based innovation and on the formal technological infrastructure and in policies
aiming almost exclusively at stimulating R&D efforts in hi-tech sectors
(Lundvall, 2016, p. 223).
Currently, a few interrelated trends related to technological innovations co-exist, as follows:
(i) New technological waves of the fourth industrial revolution(4IR). Mobility, cloud computing, the Internet of Things
(IoT), articial intelligence (AI), augmented reality (AR) and big data are enabling a future of smart everythingand
empowering businesses, consumers, and society as a whole (OECD, 2017). Some of these technologies are participating
in distributed manufacturing, or mixed activities between manufacturing and technological services and self-service
technologies (Meuter, Ostrom, Roundtree, &Bitner, 2000) and information and communication technology (ICT) or
tech-social innovations,
(ii) Pre-existent technological gaps between countries that could likely increase in the future. Digital transformation is not
affecting regions and sectors equally: headquarters of the top 2000 R&D corporations worldwide are concentrated in
just a few economiesdnotably the US, Japan and Chinadand about 70% of their total R&D spending is concentrated in
the top 200 rms (OECD, 2017). Such inequalities and attention to innovation processes in the context of developing
countries are considered by the notion of inclusive innovation(Cozzens &Sutz, 2012;Johnson &Andersen, 2012) and
innovations below the radar(Pansera &Owen, 2018).
(iii) Narrowly related to the above is the demand for innovation that is oriented toward sustainability (Pansera &Owen,
2018) and the need to study innovation beyond Western paradigms, considering paradigms and experiences from
emerging economies, such as China and India (Chen et al., 2018).
From other perspectives, Lam (2005) and Gault (2018) highlight the role of organizational innovation, considering that it
could be a necessary precondition for successful technical innovations. Organizational innovations focus on aspects that
improve organizational structures, learning processes, and their adaptation to the environment (including institutional
frameworks and markets). A diversity of organizational innovations, which are also mediated by technologies, affect the
organization's capabilities as well as the quality and efciency of work, enhance exchange of information, and improve the
organization's ability to learn and utilize new knowledge and technologies.
With a broader scope, Tidd et al. (2005) refer to the 4Psof the innovation mix, which includes the two traditional
categories product and process, besides position and paradigm. Position-based innovations refer to changes in how a specic
product or process is perceived symbolically and how theyare used. It comprises the re-positioning of an established product
or a brand, e.g., gaining reputation through innovative Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) practices or even in a negative
sense,as the rebranding of Volkswagen that launched an all-new Jetta compact car after the company's global emissions big
scandal (Jung, Chilton, &Valero, 2017). The last category, paradigm-based innovation, relates to the mental or cognitive
models that shape what an organization or business is about; considering their behavior regarding grand challenges and/or
sustainable development agenda. While the rst two innovation types are unequivocally technological, the others may or
may not be mediated by a technology.
3.2. Product innovation
Product innovation is the most popular innovation type. Gault (2018,p.619)denes product innovation as a product,
made available to potential users, that is newor signicantly changed with respect to its characteristics or intended uses.The
author also accentuates the intrinsic interaction between product and process innovations, referring to production or delivery
innovation resulting from the implementation of a new or signicantly changed production or delivery process, which in-
cludes signicant changes in inputs, infrastructure within the institutional unit, and techniques. In a broader sense, the
innovation process describes the single phases of a complete product life cycle from invention and development until market
introduction and eventually followed by the product's broader diffusion. The creative phase (emergence and combination of
ideas) differs from the invention itself and the development of a product ready for sale.Depending on the organizational
behavior, e.g., decision-making processes and interrelationships with the surrounding environment, innovations may follow
A narrow perspective on systems of innovation can be differentiated from a broader perspective. The narrow perspective is focused on the science and
technology subsystem (which includes capacity-building, training, and formal education, plus science- and technology-related services) and its relationship
with the production and innovation subsystem (where rms mainly operate). The broader perspective includes other subsystems and contexts, namely
policy, promotion, representation, nancing, demand (market segments) and the (geo) political and socio-economic contexts.
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(more or less) linear procedures, be (more or less) planned or placed in closed or open settings. Currently, the general trend is
the application of new ideas to products that increase their economic and/or social value (at the core of the value propo-
sitionof rms). This process is usually interactive and involves a diversity of actors and settings, e.g., developed in the context
of rms but also other organizations from the public or civil sectors, such as the case of a public spin-off, a social enterprise, or
a social start-up.
A major impact in the last decade related to product innovation is based on the seminal book Democratizing innovation
(Von Hippel, 2005). The author shifts attention from inside to rms' external actors, afrming that users of products and
servicesdboth rms and individual consumersdare increasingly able to innovate for themselves.He highlights the exis-
tence of great advantages of user-centered and user-led innovation processes over the manufacturer-centric innovation
systems applied for hundreds of years. In the manufacturer-centeredapproach, the mechanisms to protect inventions and
innovations as intellectual property (patents) are very relevant. Under the user/consumer-centeredview, users are
considered to be the actual developers of most new products, and generally share their innovations freely.
User-driven, user-centered, or user-led innovations connect with the realm of market and social demand, steadily
increasing as enabling computing and communication technologies improve and, overall, increase social welfare (Baldwin &
Von Hippel, 2011;Von Hippel, 1976). Nevertheless, involving users in the development of products and services is not a new
concept. Several studies show the benets of user/customer feedback and their integration into innovation processes, e.g.,
user involvement in living-labs for co-creating products or aiding users in tailoring standard product offerings for them. This
innovation way, however, is very different from the establishment of user innovation communities that totally supplant the
manufacturer/producer role (e.g., WikiHouse is an open source building system to design, print and assemble low-energy
homes, and Poppy is an open-source platform for the creation, use, and sharing of interactive 3D printed robots). Notably,
the progressive co-existence of a range ofusers' role in both product and service innovation together with the recent trends in
virtual customer environments and knowledge brokers for supporting the innovation process (Verona, Prandelli, &Sawhney,
2006) as well as the focus on design-driven innovations (Sanders &Stappers, 2008;Verganti, 2008). In fact, mutual inter-
action between users and producers is seen as a strong driver of non-technological and social innovations (Edwards-
Schachter, Matti, &Alc
antara, 2012). Despite that, user-driven social innovation or products developed by new incumbents
are not explicitly addressed, the latest edition of the Oslo Manual recognized the user friendlinesscharacteristic of a
product, and a recent paper of Gault (2018) emphasizes the role of users and customers as drivers of product innovation.
Bstieler et al. (2018) recently highlighted major hot topicsand research trends in new product development (NPD) in
relation with open innovation
and 3D printing, Internet of Things (IoT), big data/analytics, and sustainability-focused
innovation. Many companies (traditional and social enterprises) use some form of open innovation to tap outside knowl-
edge, expertise, or technologies that facilitate NPD (Chesbrough et al., 2014;West, Salter, Vanhaverbeke, &Chesbrough, 2014).
In this respect, open innovation constitutes a strategic tool that can enhance rms' NPD efforts either by enabling them to
source knowledge from external innovators (i.e., an outside-in approach) or by allowing their under-utilized ideas and
technologies to be incorporated into others' innovation processes (i.e., an inside-out approach). At the same time, open
innovation enables companies and other organizations to explore new market (and socialmarket) opportunities while
minimizing risk and costs, gaining in exibility and responsiveness.
3.3. Process innovation
Despite the fact that process innovation is one of the traditional categories dened by the Oslo Manual (2005) and is
closely related to product innovation, it has received very little attention in innovation literature (Hullova, Trott, &Simms,
2016;Reichstein &Salter, 2006). Various authors refer to the relationships between both product and process innovations,
as mutual sources of innovation, i.e., product innovation that creates the need for process innovation and vice versa, process
innovation that generates the need for a product (Damanpour &Gopalakrishnan, 2001;Hullova et al., 2016).
Reichstein and Salter (2006, p. 653) dene process innovation as new elements introduced into an organization's pro-
duction or service operationsdinput materials, task specications, work and information ow mechanisms, and equipment
used to produce a product or render a servicedwith the aim of achieving lower costs and/or higher product quality.The
implementation of new or signicantly improved production methods and techniques may involve changes in equipment or
production organization or both. Marketing methods to increase organizational productivity are also components of process
A growing worldwide phenomenon associated with the improvement of process innovation in corporations and startups
is the emergence of design thinking and lean thinking, which includes the use of a wide range of new material-processing
technologies as well as new work practices on the coordination of human resources. Lean thinking and lean methodolo-
gies constitute a structured approach that helps in developing early-stage ideas and concepts (i.e., inventions) into
marketable products, processes, or services (Hines, Holweg, &Rich, 2004;Krafcik, 1988). Taj and Morosan (2011) highlight the
Chesbrough has dened open innovation as a paradigm, which assumes that rms can and should use external ideas as well as internal ideas, and
internal and external paths to market, as rms look to advance their technology. More recently, he dened it as "a distributed innovation process based on
purposively managed knowledge ows across organizational boundaries, using pecuniary and non-pecuniary mechanisms in line with the organization's
business model"(Chesbrough et al., 2014).
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relevance of lean manufacturing to the current adaption of corporations to short product life cycles, growing product
complexity, and rapid advances in technologies by continuously engaging in manufacturing process innovation.
Many industries have experienced a paradigm shift from standardized, big scale manufacturing to production that is more
exible and low-volume manufacturing or rapid adaptation to market demand. Overall, lean manufacturing and
manufacturing process innovation are new methods that organizations can adopt to innovate with limited resources in the
context of accelerating pace of technological development. Related with other emergent innovation practices, such as open
production and open innovation, the lean approach is used by early-stage rms or companies to bring products and services
to market sooner and with fewer resources, minimizing risk while increasing customer value (Lager, Tano, &Anastasijevic,
2015;Schuh, Lenders, &Hieber, 2011).
3.4. Service innovation
Given the relevance of services to the largest part of employment and output in economic growth, innovation in services
has lately been noted but not considered as extensively as in manufacturing (Gallouj &Toivonen, 2011;Gallouj &Weinstein,
1997;Linton, 2009). Innovation in service sectors can differ substantially from innovation in many manufacturing-oriented
sectors, being often less formally organized, more incremental in nature, and less technological (Gallouj &Weinstein, 1997;
Oslo Manual, 2005). Overall, to produce a service is to organize a solution to a problem (a treatment, an operation), which
does not principally involve supplying a good, being usually intangible combinations of processes, people skills, and materials
(Goldstein, Johnston, Duffy, &Rao, 2002). Services innovation comprises activities, such as transport and logistics, infor-
mation and knowledge-based services, food, healthcare, education, among other. Broadly, services are characterized by
intangibility, heterogeneity, inseparability, and perishability, referred to as IHIP characteristics.
Goldstein et al. (2002) admit that the concept of service includes the service strategy of what to deliver and how the service
delivery system is designed. Furthermore, they present the view that the concept of service t is the core element of service
design, since it ensures integration between strategy and customer needs, as well as functions as a mediator between
customer needs and the strategic intent of the organization. Service innovation comprises both innovation in specic services
and service systems, which embodies the structure of the system that generates the service, namely the organization and the
environment. Nevertheless, the inclusion or not of a technology and the intangibilityin service innovation are often blurred,
for instance, technological services such as cloud computing and banking technological services, self-service technologies,
among others. (Evangelista, 2000;Meuter et al., 2000). Evangelista (2000) analyzed sectoral patterns of technological change
in the services sectors and Castellacci (2008) proposed a taxonomy that combines the manufacturing and service industries.
The knowledge-intensive business services (KIBS) sector is attracting greater interest in recent years. These rms (KIBS)
serve other companies when they intend to design, produce, offer, and sell complex service and product combinations. These
rms play a signicant role in designing and re-designing services with the application of the latest enabling technologies
(Hertog, 2000;Muller &Zenker, 2001). In addition, the historical development of social innovation shows that the services
sector is at the core of social innovations and, in some cases, intertwined with technological innovations (Edwards-Schachter
&Wallace, 2017).
Debates on service innovation inuence not only service companies but also traditional manufacturing rms, which have
increasingly started to realize the role of services as a possibility to differentiate their products and gain competitive
advantage. Consequently, developing services has become a new strategy for rms across different industries and innovative
services have emerged as strategies for achieving sustainable competitive advantage. This type of innovation is often asso-
ciated with other innovations that are attracting the attention of practitioners and researchers as instruments to foster
innovation: innovation in business models.
3.5. Business model innovation
Business model (BM) is considered an important vehicle for innovation but also a source of innovation in and of itself,
namely a BM innovation.Many authors point out that business model innovation represents a new dimension of inno-
vation, distinct, albeit complementary, to traditional dimensions of innovation, such as product, process, or organizational
(Amit &Zott, 2012;Massa &Tucci, 2013, pp. 420e441). Although rms have always operated according to a business model,
they traditionally followed similar logics typical of an industrial rm that produces a product or service (in relation with its
suppliers) and delivers to customers, and collects revenue. These functions are being transformed by innovative business
models emerging from rms and, indirectly, civil society. Several scholars argue that the Internet together with other ad-
vancements in information and communication technologies (ICT) acted as catalysts for BM experimentation and innovation
(Tidd et al., 2005;Amit &Zott, 2001;2012).
Firm capacity to innovate correlates with the different functions of its business model, comprising of various aspects/
components: value proposition that identies a market segment and revenue generation mechanism (i.e., utilityand purpose
of a technology); structure of the value chain required to create and distribute the offering and complementary assets;
revenue mechanisms to pay for the offering; estimation of the cost structure and prot potential for a given value proposition
and value chain structure; position of the rm within the value network linking suppliers and customers, and formulation of
the competitive strategy (Chesbrough, 2010).
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vation Studies (2018),
Business model innovation is the conscious change of an existing business model or the creation of a new business model
that improves its functions and satises customer needs better than the existing business models. In this respect, organi-
zational and marketing innovations are central to the introduction of uniqueness in business models. Gault (2018,p.619)
denes an organizational innovation as the implementation of a new or signicantly changed organizational method in the
business practice, workplace organization or external relations of the institutional unit.Fig. 1 shows the scheme of a
popularized business model among rms and other organizations: a canvas business model useful to develop the business
plan and the exploration of innovation opportunities in the different dimensions or components (Joyce &Paquin, 2016).
Innovative business models and the different ways rms do businesshas being coming up following other global
(i) advent of post-industrial technologies, as observed in the emergence of innovation through platforms that favor
collaborative and cross-sector innovations, such as digital social innovations (DSI);
(ii) orientation of the corporate sector to enter new markets in developing countries and reaching the bottom-of-the-
pyramid (BoP) customers. This is observed in BoP innovations (Prahalad, 2004;2012); frugal innovation (Zeschky,
Winterhalter, &Gassmann, 2014), reverse innovation (Zedtwitz, Corsi, Søberg, &Frega, 2015), among others. These
low-cost innovationsfocus on the development of technological and social innovations by the poor and deprived
populations to maximize value for customers and minimize inessential costs; and
(iii) sustainability orientationrepresented by the demand of global challenges and the social market. For instance, in
Europe there are specic initiatives to foster social innovations through cooperation between traditional businesses
and the social economy sector. Business model innovations are also present in some cases of green innovationsand eco-
innovations, for instance, in grassroots green innovation (Dentchev et al., 2016;Gupta, 2010).
The untapped market of the world's poor countries and certain sectors in developing countries represent a large op-
portunity for companies to serve customers and make prot with social impact. Such business opportunities challenge
conventional ways of doing business and companies are urged to rethink every step in their supply chain and develop novel
BMs due to the fundamentally different social, economic, and cultural environments that characterize emerging markets. In
this respect, digitalization plays a crucial role in the implementation of business model innovations, particularly in digital
transformations of the value chain and marketing. Chesbrough (2010, p. 354) argued, a mediocre technology pursued within
a great business model may be more valuable than a great technology exploited via a mediocre business model.Business
model innovations are at the core of current disruptive innovations, widening the classical scope on disruptive technologies
(Christensen, 1997;Christensen, Raynor, &McDonald, 2015).
3.6. Disruptive innovation
In his seminal book titled The Innovator's Dilemma,Christensen (1997) describes the notion of disruptive technologies as
those that produce a market disruption. This occurs when a new product, notwithstanding its inferior performance on focal
Fig. 1. Canvas business model (Source: Adapted from Joyce &Paquin, 2016).
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attributes valued by existing customers, displaces the mainstream product in the mainstream market. The two preconditions
for a disruptive innovation include a performance overshoot on the mainstream attributes of the existing product, and
asymmetric incentives between an existing healthy business model and the potentially disruptive business model.
The initial term disruptive technologywas further replaced by disruptive innovation,broadening the application of
this theoretical insight to include not only technological products but also a variety of services and business model in-
novations (Christensen et al., 2015;Hang, Chen, &Subramanian, 2010;Wan, Williamson, &Yin, 2015;Yu &Hang, 2010). In
this context, any change in a business model that enables superior or novel value to be delivered to consumers and adopted by
them constitutes a disruptive innovation. According to Markides (2006), disruptive innovations can be technological, business
models, and radical product innovations. Despite the existence of similarities in the disruptive effects on incumbent rms,
these three categories arise in different ways and may have different competitive effects and market responses. Notably,
innovations do not have to embody radical advances in either technology or product functionality in order to be disruptive
innovations. In fact, disruption refers more to a market/business phenomenon rather than a major technical breakthrough.
Breakthroughs are called radicalin Christenson's model and may or may not be disruptive, while minor or incremental
innovations can be massively disruptive.
Many innovations, which can be described as imitativecan be disruptive because they challenge existing value prop-
ositions and business models in the market. There are several examples of different types of innovations that Asian rms had
introduced, which proved to be disruptive in the market, such as cost innovation(reengineering the cost structure in novel
ways to offer customers adequate quality and similar or higher value for less cost); application innovation(nding inno-
vative applications for existing technologies or products); and business model innovation,adjusting aspects/functions that
can be changed quickly and at a minimal cost (Hang et al., 2010;2015).
The key point to remember is that disruption is a market/business phenomenon and has little to do with technology per se.
3.7. Radical innovation
In contrast to disruptive or sustaining innovation, radical innovation changes the rules of the gameand occurs outside
the familiar realms of standardized. Sustaining innovation refers to the maintenance of a product or service in a market, e.g.
certain technology, through relative incremental developments or improvements (incremental innovations). While both
incremental and sustaining innovations exploit the existing,radical innovation is exploratory and operates with higher
levels of uncertainties. Utterback (1994e1996) dened radical innovations or discontinuous change as change that sweeps
away much of a rm's existing investments in technical skills and knowledge, designs, production technique, plant and
According to Murmann and Frenken (2006), radical innovations can be dened either in terms of their antecedents (the
scope of new knowledge required) or their consequences (the increased performance they make possible). Given these two
different characteristics of radicalness, an innovation could be incremental in terms of the new knowledge required but
radical in terms of the additional performance achieved, and vice versa. A complete radical innovation requires large amounts
of new knowledge and, at the same time, creates large performance improvements to transform industrial structures.
Dahlin and Behrens (2005) developed three criteria that an innovation has to fulll to be considered radical: (i) existence
of a novel invention, (ii) invention must be unique, and (iii) must be able to inuence future inventions. Furthermore, for an
innovation to be considered radical, the emphasis is a dramatic departure from existing products. Nevertheless, most radical
innovations do not satisfy these requirements but take considerable time to become accepted. For instance, a radical inno-
vation is Apple's development of multi-touch interfaces and their associated gestures to control handheld and desktop
systems, despite the fact that Apple did not invent them. Multi-touch systems have existed in computer and design labo-
ratories for over 20 years and gestures have a long history. Even other companies had products on the market using multi-
touch before Apple. In this example, radicalness is represented by the third condition attributable tothe major shift produced
in the market; however, it is in the interaction with people that products obtain their meaning (Norman &Verganti, 2014, p.
Such type of innovation studies focus on models and methods used to describe and measure the radicalness of techno-
logical innovation, in other words, technological breakthroughs that take place at the global knowledge frontier.Examples
are the analysis of technology cycles, s-curves, technological trajectories, and technology adoption (Dahlin &Behrens, 2005).
A vast body of literature on radical innovations attempts to explain the conditions and factors that inuence a rm's capacity
for developing radical innovations. Factors such as rm size, age, expertise, skills and dynamic capabilities, R&D teams, re-
sources, technological trajectories, among others, have been extensively analyzed. Notwithstanding that the results are not
conclusive, we can observe radical innovations introduced by largecorporations and small teams or individual entrepreneurs,
supported by private investment or using a crowdsourcing platform. Research shows that radical technological innovation is
performed by a formally educated labor force in R&D-intensive companies and is likely to be competence-destroying, often
making existent skills (Marvel &Lumpkin, 2007).
Sharma, Thomas, and Konsynski (2017) argue that most radical innovations are analyzed from the developer's perspective,
suggesting that radicalness is an objective characteristic, inherent to the technology. Contrary to this view, they consider that
radicalness depends on the adopters.
Another distinctive dimension that becomes a relevant driver to current potential radical innovations is design. Such
innovations are labeled as design-driven innovations. In fact, radical innovation is the center of attention of design studies,
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and is taught in design schools and advocated by people discussing innovation related to not only design thinkingand
engineering designbut also social innovations driven by strategic design (Manzini, 2014;Verganti, 2009). In this respect,
radical innovativeness is not exclusive of technological innovations but also social innovations and other forms of non-
technological innovations, namely cultural innovations that produce disruptive social changes.
3.8. Design-driven innovation
Design practice, as a driver of innovations, was inuenced by the changing landscape of human-centered design research.
This approach, which began in the 1970s and became widespread by the 1990s, proved most useful in the design and
development of products and services (Sanders, 1992). In a design-driven strategy, the crucial aspect of innovation concerns
the skill to understand, anticipate, and inuence the emergence of new product and service meanings.
A technology-push innovation starts due to radical changes in technologywithout anychanges in the meaning of products
(e.g., color TV sets replacing existing black and white TV sets). Design contributes to meaning-driven innovations, starting
from the comprehension of subtle and unspoken dynamics in socio-cultural models and results in radically new meanings
and languages, often implying a change in sociocultural regimes. The invention of the mini-skirt in the 1960s is an example:
not simply a different skirt, but a radically new symbol of women's freedom that recognizes a radical change in society where
no new technology was involved.
What really matters to radical design-driven innovations is the novelty of message and design language, which is sig-
nicant and prevalent compared to the novelty of functionality and technology (Norman &Verganti, 2014;Utterback et al.,
2006;Verganti, 2008). Therefore, to produce design-driven innovations, a company should be able to interpret the meaning
that a customer gives to products in a determined sociocultural context.
Norman and Verganti (2014) describe other mechanisms for design-driven innovations labeled as technology epiphanies
and market-pull innovations. Technology epiphanies bring a radical change in meaning enabled by the emergence of new
technologies or the use of existing technologies in new contexts (e.g., the Wii video game console and the Swatch watch).
Epiphanyis interpreted as a meaning that exists at a superior position and a perception of the essential nature or meaning
of something.This superior application of a technology does not come from users. Moreover, it is not visible at rst because it
does not satisfy existing needs. Rather, a quiescent meaning is revealed only when a design challenges the dominant
interpretation and creates a new need around this novel meaning.
Market-pull innovation starts from an analysis of user needs and then develops products to satisfy them, usually in co-
creation processes (Sanders &Stappers, 2008). Here products may introduce a new meaning or deal with a design that re-
places a previous dominant design. Henderson &Clark (1990) introduced the concept of modular innovation, which involves
the introduction of new technologies where links to the surroundings are relatively untouched and architectural innovations
where components are combined in a new way, implying that the links are disrupted. Another relevant trend in design-driven
innovations is the application of design for addressing social needs and providing socially responsible solutions, linked with
both technological and social innovations (Morelli, 2007;Manzini, 2014).
3.9. Social innovation
Being a marginalized topic in both economic and sociological theories of innovation,
social innovation (SI) is gaining
recognition from mainstream innovation research. Historically, the notion predates technological innovation and is isolated
from the traditional scope on scientic inventions, patents, and technological breakthroughs (Godin, 2015;Moulaert,
MacCallum, Mehmood, &Hamdouch, 2013). However, most literature refers to SI as a new phenomenon that emerged in
the last decades as innovation research eld.
A recent paper analyzing 252 denitions and using the term over the last half century has identied core aspects within
three interrelated meanings across time (Edwards-Schachter &Wallace, 2017). The core aspect deals with innovation purpose.
It is the orientation of SI to solve societal needs through changes in social practices that contribute to broader changes in
socio-technical systems, and the development of non-technological innovations (e.g., social inventions are two women's
suffrage laws in 1918 and 1928, introduced and diffused into society by a social movement in the UK). Another central aspect
is who innovates,being a requisite the participation of civil society actors, social activists, social movements, social en-
trepreneurs, and NGOs, among others. The development of SIs by the third sector (alone or in collaboration with other actors
from the private and public sectors) is contributing to the process of social change. It is responding to the essential problem of
how to change the patterns of production and consumption towards sustainable development and the provision of service
innovations (with or without technology), especially societal problems concerning most disempowered and frail social
Edwards-Schachter and Wallace (2017) dene SI as a collective process of learningthat involves the distinctive
participation of civil society actors aimed to solve a societal need through change in social practices that produce change in
Despite publications on the topic in the most representative academic journals, the term remains separate from mainstream. One example is the lack of
mention and references to the term social innovation in the book Innovation Studies: Evolution and Future Challenges edited by Fagerberg et al., in 2013,
where other expressions like frugal innovationor inclusive innovationare explicit.
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social relationships, systems, and structures, contributing to large socio-technical change.Mumford (2002), from the eld of
creativity, denes SI as the generation and implementation of new ideas about how people should organize interpersonal
activities, or social interactions, to meet one or more common goals.He states that, similar to other forms of innovation,
products resulting from social innovation may vary with regard to their breadth and impactand may involve the creation of
new kinds of social institutions, formation of new ideas about the government, or the development of new social move-
ments.(p. 253).
The relationship between traditional technologicalinnovation and SI is currently debated. The mainstream recognizes
the relevance of SI in producing change in social practices, but its role has been relegated to being a subsidiary,acom-
plement,or an inductorof technological innovation. One of the most inuential authors is Gershuny (1982,1987), who
focused on how changes in social practices complement (or favor) technological innovation conguring the emergence of
what may be called the communal,”“householdand undergroundproduction on a small scale; in other words, the
informal economy including voluntary and religious organizations and cooperatives.
A recent book updating innovation systems from Lundvall also presents SI as a social recipethat favors the adoption of
technological innovations through institutional change, namely social innovation as the basis for technical innovation,
Lundvall (2016, p. 80). Lundvall argues, In a period characterized by radical change in the technological basis of the economy,
established organizational and institutional patterns might prove to be important obstacles to the exploitation of the full
potential of new technology. In such a period, social innovations might become more important for the wealth of nations than
technical innovations[]institutional change, strengthening the competence and the power of nal users, might be one of
the social innovations that can give national systems of innovation a stronger position in the world economy.
A crucial aspect to distinguish between pureforms of SI from technological innovation, service innovation, and other
mixed forms is the generation of values, being social values and social impact inherent to SI but not necessarily or even absent
in the other cases, where economic value prevails. Technological innovation and service innovation may also produce well-
being and social impact but they are incentivized by expected prots, while SIs put social benets at the forefront and seek to
empower underserved populations. In this respect, indicators on social impact enable the distinction between SIs from other
innovation types (Mulgan, Joseph, &Norman, 2013).
In sum, to date SI is perceived as an independent innovation type but also is seen in inter-dependence with other
innovation forms (technological, product, service, organizational, business, and design-driven innovations). Furthermore,
multi-stakeholder and cross-sectoral cooperation either develops or introduces SI between the public and private actors, in
collaboration with civil society. The emergence of many mixedor hybridforms of SI is observed in the last decade. For
instance, grassroots social innovations(Seyfang &Haxeltine, 2012) with focus on green(pro-environmental) innovations,
which in most cases comprise specic institutionalization processes (change in consumption patterns, environmental reg-
ulations, different types of incentives and rules of the gamelocal institutional context.) where the placefor social practices
and changes in social systems appear intertwined with technological inventions and innovations. Open social innovation
(Chesbrough &Di Minin, 2014) attends to rms' strategies in front of social demand. Social inclusive open innovation
(Gupta, Dey, &Singh, 2017) emphasize both a rm's openness and the inclusion of poor population segments. ICT-enabled
and Digital social innovationsconsider the opportunities that offer digital technologies and the Internet to address some of
society's biggest challenges (Misuraca, Colombo, Radescu, &Bacigalupo, 2015; The Manifesto for Digital Social Innovation
(DSI), 2017).
Over the past decade, a plethora of non-prot incubators, social accelerators, and hybrid platforms have fueled SI. A recent
example is the hub/platform Social Innovation Europe (SIE) created in 2011 to scale-up SI around European countries followed
by a recent project to establish a wider social Innovation community of researchers, social innovators, end users (citizens) and
policy-makers (EC, 2015). Recent European policies and initiatives fostering the Single Social Market and cooperation be-
tween the social economy and business together with social incubation and scaling initiatives are opening the door to new
hybrid types of SI (e.g., tech social startups and SI units in large corporations, as part of their CSR practices).
3.10. Responsible innovation
Responsible research and innovation (RRI) and Responsible innovation (RI) represent a meta-category of innovation that
emerged in Europe and the United States (US) in the past decade. The European Commission (EC) introduced RRI as a
crosscutting issue to open a debate about collective responsibility in the production and applicability of knowledge facing the
current global challenges and dilemmas related to the fourth industrial revolution (EC, 2012;Owen, , Bessant, , &Heintz,
2013;Stilgoe, Owen, &Macnaghten, 2013;Von Schomberg, 2011). Responsible innovation (RI) is rooted in notions such as
responsible development”“responsible research,and responsible knowledge-based innovation,and earlier discussions in
programs such as the Ethical, Legal, and Social Implications (ELSI) related to the Human Genome Project in 1988. It is also
present in the Ethical, Legal and Social Aspects (ELSA) and responsible nano-science programs in the US and Europe
om, 2003;Owen et al., 2013). Fagerberg et al. (2013) explicitly refers to the need for socially responsible innovation,
as part of the challenges of the eld of SI.
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The most popular denition of RRI was proposed by von Schomberg as a transparent, interactive process by which so-
cietal actors and innovators become mutually responsive to each other with a view on the (ethical) acceptability, sustain-
ability, and societal desirability of the innovation process and its marketable products.Overall, RRI claims co-responsibility of
societal actors (researchers, citizens, policy makers, businesses, third-sector organizations), in an expected participatory
process, in which technological and scientic advances and innovation become more transparent and properly embedded in
society. A normative framework proposed by the EC is used for implementing RRI, and includes six interrelated dimensions or
components,such as science literacy and scientic education, public engagement, gender equality, open access to scientic
knowledge, governance, and ethics. All are being implemented under the Horizon2020 Program.
Despite reaching a consensus on the relevance of RRI, the term has sparked many controversies regarding content and
scope on technological innovation, practical implementation, and the limited attention paid to gaps between developed and
developing countries (Blok &Lemmens, 2015;Macnaghten et al., 2014). Lubberink, Blok, van Ophem, and Omta (2017)
conducted a systematic review of the eld in a business context, concluding that RRI overlaps other innovation types in
addressing grand societal challenges and the focus on sustainability as a desirable outcome of innovation. Examples are
innovations in the green and circular economy, sharing economy, and social economy, aiming to develop responsible and
sustainable innovations. The authors argue that RRI may provide opportunities to enable participation of stakeholders from
the private, public, and civil society to steer innovation processes and outcomes towards more sustainable, societally
desirable, and ethically acceptable solutions. Responsible innovation not only demands new corporate practices in terms of
innovation activities (as corporate social responsibility, CSR and corporate social innovation, CSI) but also in rms' business
models and their roles and responsibilities for the political and socio-economic system in which they operate attending to
dimensions of social justice/inclusion and sustainability.
Responsible research and innovation (RRI) and Responsible innovation (RI) may have great inuence over innovation
systems considering that their implications to the governance of innovation processes are crucial for the formation of RRI
capabilities through formal and informal education. One emergent associated form of innovation is transformative innovation,
dened as a high system-level innovation that attempts to transform socio-technological innovation systems and the entire
economy. Transformative innovationscan be distinguished from radical innovationsin that while the latter disrupt
existing technical competences, the former also involve substantial changes in markets and linkages with users in direct
integration with transformativeinnovation policies (Scrase, Stirling, Geels, Smith, &Van Zwanenberg, 2009, p. 15).
The educational implications of RRI in the context of knowledge and learning in society indicate that new approaches may
reinforce previous efforts to integrate awareness on collective responsibility, such as science, technology, society, and
environment (STSE), sustainability education and Nature of Science (NOS), and Nature of Science and Technology (NoST)
(DeVries, 2005;Hodson, 2014;Lederman, 2013). However, to date, efforts to integrate such approaches do not deal with
innovation. In fact, the concept of innovation is practically missing or misunderstood in formal education, with the exception
of specic higher educational programs (Edwards-Schachter &Greca, Forthcoming). Typically, NOS refers to the epistemology
of science, science as a way of knowing, or the values and beliefs inherent to scientic knowledge and its development
(Lederman, 1992;2013). In this respect, RRI provides the opportunity to debate about the role of innovation and enables a
deeper understanding of the interrelationships between technological innovation and the broad nature of innovation, con-
tent, and the boundaries of the Nature of Science, Technology, and Innovation (NoSTI). From my perspective, NoSTI comprises
three interrelated but different naturesembedded in social, economic, cultural, and political contexts: (i) natureof science
and scientic production; (ii) natureof technology and technological knowledge production, and (iii) natureof innova-
tion, which in turn involves technological and non-technological innovations.
Integration of the NoSTI approach from the RRI perspective to educational settings enables a better understanding of the
meaning of innovation and innovation typologies and, at the same time, favors a renewed perspective on sustainability and
the practical implementation of transformative governance, which are crucial for every country in the 21st century.
4. Final remarks
Overall, the most accepted interpretation of the nature of innovation deals with the notion of noveltythrough the
generation and successful implementation of ideas transformed into products and services that are more or less tangible,
namely technological and non-technological inventions. Despite the differences between IS communities, especially those
between entrepreneurship and mainstream innovation scholars, innovation embraces the notion of change in individuals
(mindsets), organizations, and broader systems. Innovation is an approach organizations use to introduce changes to
survive and thrive during uncertain and turbulent conditions. The word organizationsconnotes a variety of for-prot and
non-prot oriented, private-, public-, third-sector, and hybrid rms (e.g., social enterprises).
From an epistemological perspective, change is perceived as essential to innovation, being part of the dynamics of human
evolution and central to how humans produce knowledge, and change and institutionalizetheir social practices over time.
To innovate is to introduce something newthat produces change, but innovation also refers to the process(the method)
by which a change occurs and sustains with time. Innovation includes both revolutionary changes (the Internet) and small
incremental changes (the latest version of an app) (Dodgson, 2018).
Intrinsic to the nature of innovation is the purpose or intent; change can be planned, provoked, or unintentional. Change
may originate in the need to solve a problem or a societal need.In this respect, as Martin (2016, p. 435) pointed out, under
different policies, innovation can take different directions, or assume different forms, or involve different processes, or bring
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in different actors and bodies of knowledge.Thus, a crucial aspect to understand the nature of innovation is identifying the
agent that produces the change: whoare innovators? Those who develop innovations? For decades, innovation scholars
considered rms as the principal actors, being instruments of innovation (rm abilityor capability) for gaining
competitive advantage in the immediate complex and uncertain environments. However, it is necessary that IS acknowledge
the contribution of the so-called darkor hiddeninnovations, signicant innovations coming from the third sector, public
institutions, multi-stakeholders and, lately, cross-sectoral collaborations that result in a new formof product, service, user
and design-driven disruptive innovations and other innovation types. Indeed, the nature of innovation currently stresses the
immense impact of non-technological and both pure and hybrid social innovations (Edwards-Schachter et al., 2012;Roth,
Other issues that claim IS research include many of the novel disruptive innovations introduced by new economic sectors
such as the social economy, green and blue economies, silver economy, and gig economy. Examples of the gig economy
include the Airbnb or Uber business platform models, called marketplaces,that enable and support transactions between
independent supply- and demand-side participants; these models are challenging not only production systems, but also
regulations and macroeconomic and social policies (Burtch, Carnahan, &Greenwood, 2018).
A remarkable feature of the nature of innovation is its astonishing diversity, fueled by the growth of cross-sector coop-
eration. On the one hand, there is a growing trend of mixed modes of innovation(OECD, 2017, p.154) and hybrid innovation
that recongure markets and blur boundaries between technology, society, and culture. On the other hand, fast-changing
digital technology landscapes and innovations are emerging from the fourth industrial revolution and the changes form-
ing the scientic and technological basis of knowledge and innovation systems. Nevertheless, much of the world is tech-
nologically backward or excluded, and is neither able to innovate nor adopt and adapt to new technologies. It is in this regard
that initiatives such as the Global Social Innovation Index (GII)
enable to capture the nature of SI and illustrate the innovation
performance of developing economies. In this respect, to distinguish the types of innovation, it is necessary to understand
organizations' innovative behavior and attend to their different characteristics and modes of operation as a pre-requisite to
innovation measurement.
Overall, innovation is a complex socio-cultural process involving diverse actors and sources of knowledge. It is not only
about improving and sustaining the competitive advantage of rms and organizations but also about addressing the major
social challenges of the 21st century. In doing so, the nature of innovation is evolving from innovation for economic pro-
ductivity to innovation for sustainability, from risky innovation to socially responsible innovation, from narrow conceptu-
alizations to broadening the socio-techno-cultural perspectives of innovations. The eld of innovation faces the key challenge
of capturing the complete picture of innovation with a comprehensive denition and suitable metrics, overcoming the
terminological Babel'ization and fragmentation of the eld of innovation research.
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Further reading
Carlgren, L., Elmquist, M., & Rauth, I. (2014). Design thinking: Exploring values and effects from an innovation capability perspective. The Design Journal,
17(3), 403e423.
Ettlie, J. E., & Rosenthal, S. R. (2011). Service versus manufacturing innovation. Europe's ability to respond to societal challenges. Journal of Product Innovation
Management, 28(2), 285e299.
Gallouj, F., & Savona, M. (2009). Innovation in services: A review of the debate and a research agenda. Journal of Evolutionary Economics, 19(2), 149e172.
Mascitelli, R. (2000). From experience: Harnessing tacit knowledge to achieve breakthrough innovation. Journal of Product Innovation Management, 17(3),
179 e193.
M. Edwards-Schachter / International Journal of Innovation Studies xxx (2018) 1e15 15
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vation Studies (2018),
... The motivation for this research was to explore the success factors for radical innovation within industrial firms in the DACH region (Germany, Austria and Switzerland). This topic has been gaining increasing attention as firms move beyond their more traditional innovation activities (Christensen, 1997;Edwards-Schachter, 2018). This has been accelerated by the need to find new opportunities within highly competitive markets. ...
... Alternatively, it may be a "hidden innovation" (Miles & Green, 2008) that is ongoing and unknown to the interviewees. This nevertheless needs investigation as our innovation opportunities, as described by Edwards-Schachter (2018), are limited and remain trapped and unable to create a future without breaking the present (Schumpeter, 1942). ...
Digital servitization describes the change of business models towards smart service offerings enabled by digitization. One challenge of digital servitization for manufacturers is to gain a better understanding how smart services generate value-in-use. To examine individual value-in-use concepts regarding smart services, we conducted and analyzed 22 in-depth interviews with the repertory grid technique. Our findings show that the respondents have a fairly uniform understanding of what constitutes an ideal service. Their perception of the service of tomorrow, smart service, and remote service offerings is closer to a future ideal than the service of today. Further we were able to group individual value perceptions into four groups and to discuss differences of an external and internal view on smart service. Interestingly sustainability was not mentioned as a value dimension in our study, which should be investigated further.KeywordsSmart serviceRepertory gridValue-in-use
... et al. (2019); Arosa et al. (2022) Marketing Aplicación de estrategias de marketing que mejoren la satisfacción del cliente (acciones emprendidas para satisfacer a los clientes) (Inmar 1) Zuñiga-Collazos et al. (2019); OECD (2018)Aplicación de estrategias de marketing enfocadas a satisfacer las necesidades del cliente (acciones emprendidas para satisfacer las necesidades) estrategias de marketing enfocadas a mejorar la imagen de los productos y servicios de la empresa. (acciones emprendidas para mejorar la imagen) (Inmar 3)Arundel et al. (2019);Edwards-Schachter (2018) ...