Economist develops modern typology of innovation research

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Economist develops modern typology of innovation research
Historical typology of the concepts of innovation. Credit: International Journal of Innovation Studies (2023). DOI: 10.1016/j.ijis.2023.05.004

A RUDN University economist has developed a new typology of theoretical approaches to innovations study, expanding theoretical knowledge in this field of science. Based on the new typology, the scientist named the most promising areas for further research on innovation. The results were published in the International Journal of Innovation Studies.

Innovation is the object of interdisciplinary research in behavioral economics, management, sociology, and psychology. The diversity of approaches and concepts gave rise to the need for classification. The typology proposed by Jon Sundbo in 1998 has been the common system, and it identified three different aspects of innovation. However, since then many new concepts have appeared that can no longer be unambiguously classified into one of the three types. The new study updates and expands the diagram to include new theoretical directions.

“In this conceptual framework, many theoretical directions are at the intersection of different aspects. Many of the directions appeared after 1998. So, we created a development of this scheme, adding concepts that appeared already in the 21st century,” said Dmitry Kochetkov, Ph.D., Associate Professor of the Department of Probability Theory and Cybersecurity at RUDN University.

In the classical system, there are three theoretical directions. First-type theories consider innovation in an inextricable connection with entrepreneurship; such an understanding of the innovation process goes back to the “father of innovation theory” Joseph Schumpeter. The second type is based on the technological and economic aspects of innovation. The third one views innovation as a social process and addresses strategic aspects.

The economist systematized new concepts and identified those that do not fit into the classical typology, being at the intersection of different perspectives. These are, for example, “spiral models,” “entrepreneurial university” and others. Then he supplemented the classical model, added a second level of hierarchy to the diagram and highlighted the intersections of various aspects.

The result is a new two-level typology of theoretical approaches to the study of innovation. In the entrepreneurial aspect, the author highlighted the concept of entrepreneurial universities; in our time, they are becoming key players in creating a knowledge economy. At the intersection of several aspects—entrepreneurial, technological and economic, and strategic—there are models of the triple, quadruple, and quintuple helix, which describe the interactions between universities, business, and government in the social and natural environment.

Having described and systematized these concepts, the researcher also named the most promising areas for further research. The first promising direction is the role of innovation and entrepreneurship in the development of public institutions and raising the standard of living achieving sustainable development goals. The second is to examine the national economic, political, and social context and its impact on innovation.

“The digital transformation of economies and societies has significantly changed the innovation landscape. Innovation research goes far beyond economic, technological, and management studies. Another problem is that most, if not all, innovation theories and concepts were formulated in developed countries. Therefore, studies of the national context and its impact on innovation and entrepreneurship, especially in developing countries, are an important part of academic and political discourse,” said Kochetkov.

More information:
Dmitry M. Kochetkov, Innovation: A state-of-the-art review and typology, International Journal of Innovation Studies (2023). DOI: 10.1016/j.ijis.2023.05.004

Provided by
Russian Foundation for Basic Research

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Economist develops modern typology of innovation research (2023, October 13)
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