Title: Science, technology and innovation: an evolutionary perspective

Authors: Joe Mort

Addresses: Webster Research Center, Xerox Corporation, 800 Phillips Road, Bldg. 01 14-41D, Webster, NY 14580, USA

Abstract: Darwin|s theory of natural selection had its origins in the laissez-faire economic ideas described in Adam Smith|s The Wealth of Nations. This historical connection has led to recent economic models in which the innovation/economic growth relationship is viewed as an analogy to Darwinian theories of biological evolution. In this paper, the role of industrial scientific and technological research in the innovation process is considered in this same context. It is suggested that this perspective allows the definition of a role which is richer, more cohesive and better attuned to reality than those traditionally invoked. In addition, given the broad familiarity of evolutionary concepts, it provides a common, conceptual frame of reference recognizable to the diverse disciplines concerned with the issues of innovation and competitiveness.

Keywords: natural selection; evolutionary concepts; innovation process; competitiveness; invention; R&D; USA; radial tyres; research and development; technology management; science and technology; United States.

DOI: 10.1504/IJTM.1994.025561

International Journal of Technology Management, 1994 Vol.9 No.1, pp.30 - 42

Published online: 23 May 2009 *

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