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Systemic Aspects of Innovation and Design. The perspective of Collaborative Networks

isbn 9783319032412
language Inglese
type Libri
authors Marzia Mortati
Year 2013
editor Springer
pages 70


The main intent of the book is to raise awareness of the contribution design can make to the fields of research traditionally dealing with innovation and industry. Recently, a wealth of discourses is proposing design as a discipline to bridge the gap between academic research and everyday applications, innovation theories and companies’ innovative capacities. However, rather than benefiting from these interests, design seems squeezed in too many faulty statistics and incomplete reports, that make the disciplinary field increasingly slippery. Issues are requiring further investigation, while the complexity and the turbulence of the actual socio-economical system are driving the need to widen the interests of professionals dealing with business strategies. On reflections, addressing business challenges in the current environment means more than price stock, and requires fresh mixes of solutions to the global competition, and environmental/sustainable challenge, renewed ways to apply new technologies, new operations in distributed teams and co-created solutions. The traditional boundaries of professions are blurring, thus skewing business strategies for innovation to incorporate complex interventions negotiated between different socio-economic actors (companies, institutions, citizens) that are capable of working in teams of multi-experts. This evolution affects professionals, researchers, and disciplines. In Innovation Studies for example, the Open Innovation paradigm argues for the need to establish new models, where much of the knowledge comes from outside the boundaries of the company. In Entrepreneurship Studies scholars are giving increasing attention to understanding and managing entrepreneurs’ social networks. The concepts of openness, collaboration and connectivity are acquiring importance in many fields, while business strategists, sociologists, economists, firms, managers and designers are trying to interpret the idea of a relational worldview in diverse applications. Design is increasingly recognized as a fundamental ingredient to be integrated in companies for innovation, because it can shape ideas and translate them into practical and appealing propositions for users while answering to a green imperative. Nevertheless a product is just one of the possibilities for design, while relationships and communities are been considered as valuable. In the same way, a company’s value is absorbing intangible assets beyond money, and closer to culture, relationships and reputation. A company is part of a wider community, it being embedded in a potentially infinite number of socio-economic relationships. The design of these relationships is one of the crucial points to innovation. The current literature mainly focuses on mapping and measuring these networks, and defines them generally as social networks. Only few contributions try to investigate and describe the diverse types of networks for innovation. Parameters and approaches to act on networks as real business assets are seldom described. This book reports on how networks could be acted on for innovation by using design as the means for operational translation. It describes advantages and disadvantages of working collaboratively, while constantly confronting the disciplinary boundaries between design, management, entrepreneurship studies, and organisation theory. This results in a trans-disciplinary work that engages hypotheses and results to cross the academic outreach/divide, while directly experimenting the belief that research paths overcoming disciplinary barriers are a necessary test-bed to achieve real impact.

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