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Innovation and coordination: a schutzian perspective

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Abstract:

This paper discusses the nature of innovation, the innovation process and its associated coordination problems in the subjectivist perspective. It argues that innovation, when viewed in the first person perspective, is not a homogeneous concept. Instead, the degree of newness of an innovation is determined subjectively by adopters. The stages of the innovation process described in the management literature are re-interpreted in light of Schutz' phenomenology. Innovation creates coordination problems. Schumpeterian innovation disrupts plans of market participants and threatens people's sense of reality. The stocks of knowledge of market participants are no longer able to solve new problems brought about by pioneering entrepreneurs. Knowledge taken for granted becomes problematic. As a result, coordination fails. In attempting to remove uncertainty arising from radical innovation, human agents create knowledge surrogates and project acts in the future perfect tense. Through a process of typification, successful actions are crystallised into firm routines and institutions that once again help to serve for coordination. The arguments developed in this paper throw new light on three aspects of business strategies, namely, management of innovation, vertical integration and advertising.

Keywords: Coordination; Entrepreneurship; Innovation; Phenomenology; Subjectivist interpretation

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/10438590290028496

Affiliations: School of Economics and Management, University College, The University of New South Wales, (Australian Defence Force Academy), Canberra, ACT 2600, Australia

Publication date: 2003-10-01

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