Creativity, innovation, and the production of wealth
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Original versionSogner, K. (2018). Creativity, innovation, and the production of wealth. In E. Heath, B. Kaldis & A. Marcoux (Eds), The Routledge companion to business ethics (p. 326-342). London: Routledge. https://doi.org/10.4324/9781315764818-25
This chapter offers an historic introduction to the broad field of innovation studies with an eye towards ethical matters. Four fundamental issues are highlighted. In the first section, I delineate how the concept of innovation has little place within the framework of standard economic models, yet innovation is crucial to the total economy. In the second section, I take up some theoretical approaches, emerging in the 1980s, that construe the phenomena of innovation as occurring within specific circumstances. This is the “interactive” approach. In the subsequent section, I focus on how innovation has been seen, by some, to be institutionalized within the large corporation or, in other cases, within clusters of small companies or even the nation state, noting as well how some scholars have argued for cultural or ethical frameworks as catalysts of innovation. In the final section, I canvas some of the debate as to whether or why innovation has failed to return economic growth to the wealthy nations.
This is the accepted and refereed manuscript to the article