Title: Modelling the inter-subjective level of innovation

Authors: Frido E. Smulders; Han J. Bakker

Addresses: Department of Product Innovation Management, Faculty of Industrial Design Engineering, Delft University of Technology, Landbergstraat 15, 2628 CE Delft, The Netherlands. ' Institute of Social Innovation, University of Applied Science Rotterdam, Museumpark 40, 3015 CX Rotterdam, The Netherlands

Abstract: Disruptive innovation, by its very nature, is a social activity among a large diversity of collaborating actors. However, literature addressing social processes in innovation is scarce, especially on the micro-level of interactions between the innovating actors involved, the inter-subjective level. This paper focuses on closing this gap by investigating the social dimension of innovation. It first examines the literature looking for social processes described in some detail. It goes on to present two empirical studies that each investigated a different co-creational setting. One aimed to identify the basic social process between actors from NPD and manufacturing, whereas the other investigated the interaction process of idea development in a consultancy firm. The literature and the two studies helped conceptualise a framework of aspects representing the inter-subjective dimension of innovation. The paper concludes with ideas for future research which use the framework for more fundamental theorising on the phenomenon of (disruptive) innovating.

Keywords: disruptive innovation; creativity; social interaction; collaborative innovation; inter-subjective levels; social processes; social activities; collaborating actors; collaboration; micro-levels; interactions; innovating actors; social dimensions; co-creational settings; new product development; NPD; manufacturing industry; interaction processes; idea development; consultancy firms; consultancies; aspects framework; consultants; technology management; continuous innovation.

DOI: 10.1504/IJTM.2012.049443

International Journal of Technology Management, 2012 Vol.60 No.3/4, pp.221 - 241

Published online: 06 Apr 2013 *

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