The hidden side of innovation: why tinkerers matter
Theories of innovation have drawn on the dominant form that the process took in the 1960s and 1970s: one characterized by high-tech endeavors, usually based on formal research and scientific investigations, involving patenting and corporations' research laboratories. Those specific assumptions and conceptions of the innovation process overshadowed the role of material action and of materiality in creating new knowledge. The paper points out how materiality Ðin particular the physical creation of artifacts out of available resourcesÐ is a fundamental element in innovation, in particular in generating novel knowledge. We advance an analytical and theoretical framework to think about the role of ÒmakingÓ things Ð defined as ÒtinkeringÓ Ð in innovation processes. We identify three functions to tinkering. First, tinkering is conceived as a form of epistemic action that generates abstract knowledge in and of itself. Second, tinkering orients the emergence of filieres and artifacts towards contributions to specialized innovative labor. Finally, we posit that tinkering is a way of framing innovation and of mobilizing resources and attention to obtain legitimation in industries and in markets. In order to ground our definition and conceptual framing of tinkering, we illustrate the case of the airplane and of the historical development of the aircraft industry as an example to clarify our propositions. The paper closes by proffering avenues for further investigations.
|Date of creation:||Apr 2014|
|Date of revision:|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: San Giobbe, Cannaregio 873, 30121 Venezia|
Phone: +39 0412348721
Fax: +39 0412348701
Web page: http://www.unive.it/dip.management
More information through EDIRC
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Cacciatori, Eugenia, 2008. "Memory objects in project environments: Storing, retrieving and adapting learning in project-based firms," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 37(9), pages 1591-1601, October.
- Dosi, Giovanni, 1982.
"Technological paradigms and technological trajectories : A suggested interpretation of the determinants and directions of technical change,"
Elsevier, vol. 11(3), pages 147-162, June.
- Dosi, Giovanni, 1993. "Technological paradigms and technological trajectories : A suggested interpretation of the determinants and directions of technical change," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 22(2), pages 102-103, April.
- Garud, Raghu & Karnoe, Peter, 2003. "Bricolage versus breakthrough: distributed and embedded agency in technology entrepreneurship," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 32(2), pages 277-300, February.
- Hendry, Chris & Harborne, Paul, 2011. "Changing the view of wind power development: More than "bricolage"," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 40(5), pages 778-789, June.
- Jensen, Morten Berg & Johnson, Bjorn & Lorenz, Edward & Lundvall, Bengt Ake, 2007.
"Forms of knowledge and modes of innovation,"
Elsevier, vol. 36(5), pages 680-693, June.
- Pavitt, Keith, 1984. "Sectoral patterns of technical change: Towards a taxonomy and a theory," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 13(6), pages 343-373, December.
- Balconi, Margherita & Brusoni, Stefano & Orsenigo, Luigi, 2010.
"In defence of the linear model: An essay,"
Elsevier, vol. 39(1), pages 1-13, February.
- Morrison, Pamela D. & Roberts, John H. & Midgley, David F., 2004. "The nature of lead users and measurement of leading edge status," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 33(2), pages 351-362, March.
- Gaurab Bhardwaj & John C. Camillus & David A. Hounshell, 2006. "Continual Corporate Entrepreneurial Search for Long-Term Growth," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 52(2), pages 248-261, February.
- Eric von Hippel, 1994. ""Sticky Information" and the Locus of Problem Solving: Implications for Innovation," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 40(4), pages 429-439, April.
- David B. Audretsch & Max Keilbach, 2007. "The Theory of Knowledge Spillover Entrepreneurship," Journal of Management Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 44(7), pages 1242-1254, November.
- Ornetzeder, Michael & Rohracher, Harald, 2006. "User-led innovations and participation processes: lessons from sustainable energy technologies," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 34(2), pages 138-150, January.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:vnm:wpdman:79. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Marco LiCalzi)
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.