The chapters in Part III take a behavioural approach to innovation. They look at what could be called its ‘soft’ factors: organizational, psychological and individual-oriented factors. There are many such factors that influence the innovation process, which thus becomes complex. The chapters emphasize variables other than those that have been central to mainstream innovation theory over the past few decades. The analyses and discussions presented in this part challenge the institutional approach, which is based on fixed, repetitive patterns of behaviour such as learning (cf. Cohen & Sproull, 1996), routines (cf. Nelson & Winter, 1982) and expert-based formal organizations, for example research and development (R&D) departments (e.g., Kay, 1979). It is claimed that the innovation process is more varied than the picture presented by the institutional approach, and is guided more by personal and managerial intervention and decisions throughout the process than is often supposed in the mainstream theory. This perspective is mainly produced because the chapters take a sociological, and partly psychological, approach in contrast to mainstream innovation theory, which often takes an economic approach (e.g., Dosi et al. 1988; Freeman & Soete, 1997). In the economic approach, there is a tendency to see social factors in a somewhat rigid fashion as, for example, institutional social patterns that are repetitive and routine. The chapters in this part put forward more actor-based, situational views, as a supplement to the traditional institutional view.
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