Independent Publishers Group Logo

Sign up today...
for featured pop culture and science reads, books for kids and teens,special offers, bestsellers, and more, in your inbox!

Select topics of interest:
A Social Theory of Innovation
A Social Theory of Innovation

A Social Theory of Innovation


232 Pages, 6.75 x 9.25

Formats: Trade Paper

Trade Paper, $48.00 (US $48.00)

Publication Date: April 2013

ISBN 9788763002523

Rights: US & CA

Copenhagen Business School Press (Apr 2013)

Price: $48.00


The contemporary economy is primarily understood through the rationalist and formalist lenses of economic theory and its accompanying (mainstream) theories of organization and management. In this corpus of work, the economy is commonly portrayed as emerging on the basis of the calculated and instrumental use of heterogeneous resources. Innovation - the capacity to produce new goods and services, being of key importance in a competitive capitalist economic regime - is a joint collaborative process embedded in social action, i.e., through forms of agency. In contrast to individualist, calculative, and utilitarian images of economic agency, sociologists, historians, anthropologists, and others have demonstrated that economic agency is determined in many cases by social and cultural conditions that extend beyond the narrow sphere of instrumental economic behavior. A Social Theory of Innovation makes a connection between innovation, economic agency, and three complementary perspectives - i.e. those of playfulness, reciprocity, and squandering (the conspicuous and symbolic waste of excess resources) - in terms of being three principles that underlie innovative and creative work. Rather than postulating the homo oeconomicus model of economic agency - prescribed by neoclassical economic theory - as the only possible and legitimate image of economic agency, alternative models exist which in various ways contribute to our understanding of how and why innovation is produced in contemporary society. The book draws on a diverse corpus of literature from management studies, economics, economic sociology, and the humanities to provide a less confined and narrow image of innovation and economic agency. This book is intended for undergraduate, graduate, and post-graduate business school curricula in both economic sociology and other educational programs addressing the organization of the economy and society at large.