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2023 | OriginalPaper | Buchkapitel

2. Some Misconceptions Regarding Innovation (and How Reading Classical Authors Might Help Overcoming Them)

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Abstract

This chapter reunites three related reflections about innovation in the form of a short essay: the first one refers to the etymology of the word innovation and the fact that, originally, it was used with a negative connotation (in the sense of a subversive change). A second point deals with the question of whether the well-established concept of innovation system—despite its fruitfulness—does not contradict Schumpeter’s own concept of innovation. And third—closely related to the previous—a question so far much neglected, namely, who does really innovate in companies?

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Fußnoten
1
Classified by organizations such as the World Economic Forum as “innovation driven.”
 
2
Curiously enough, the Proto-Germanic root (neuva) has a very a similar sound to the Latin nova.
 
3
We are aware of the huge lapse of time but did not want to expand this section with too many examples.
 
4
Often another extract taken out of Machiavelli’s Il Principe (Chapter VI) which is often quoted (as it serves as a piece of advice to all innovators) reads:
And it ought to be remembered that there is nothing more difficult to take in hand, more perilous to conduct, or more uncertain in its success, than to take the lead in the introduction of a new order of things, because the innovator has for enemies all those who have done well under the old conditions, and lukewarm defenders in those who may do well under the new.
However, it should be noted that—strictly speaking—the original Italian text does not employ the word innovatore but introductore [introductor].
 
5
Coriolanus has the distinction of being among the few Shakespeare plays banned in a democracy in modern times. It was briefly suppressed in France in the late 1930s because of its use by the “fascist” element, and prohibited in Post-War Germany due to its intense militarism.
 
6
Entry “innovation.”
 
7
Although the German translation was not published until 1961.
 
8
This section summarizes the broader analysis presents in Gutiérrez-Rojas and Baumert (2018, 2019).
 
9
Schumpeter (1939, p. 84 and p. 272). This interrelation was explained some years ago with surprising—for simple—precision by the then Finnish Prime Minister Esko Aho—whose country was then among the leading nations in terms of technological innovation—indicating that “research is to invest money to obtain knowledge; to innovate is to invest knowledge to obtain money.”
 
10
Which Schumpeter himself cites as an example of an innovative entrepreneur (Schumpeter, 1939, p. 272).
 
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Metadaten
Titel
Some Misconceptions Regarding Innovation (and How Reading Classical Authors Might Help Overcoming Them)
verfasst von
Thomas Baumert
Copyright-Jahr
2023
DOI
https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-031-40139-8_2