In this paper, it is argued that innovation can be the result of a repetitive, multi-actor negotiation process. We present the case of an environment-related product innovation in a large multinational company that emerged as the outcome of a complex interaction process in which numerous external and internal actors negotiated to safeguard their own interests. This negotiation perspective challenges conventional economic views of innovations, in which new products and processes are regarded as exogenous variables, the outcomes of deliberately planned research, or the combination of technology (pushing) and market (pulling) inducements. Instead, innovation may be a non-linear, unpredictable process that involves multiple actors with divergent interests and that leads to outcomes that are collectively acceptable but not necessarily (sub)optimal.
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Document Type: Research Article
Department of Strategy and Business Environment, Faculty of Business Administration and Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University, PO Box 1738, 3000 DR Rotterdam, The Netherlands. , Email: [email protected]
Eindhoven Centre for Innovation Studies (ECIS), Eindhoven University of Technology, PO Box 513, 5600 MB Eindhoven, The Netherlands. , Email: [email protected]
Publication date: 2005-01-01