Editorial: The Technology of Innovation
International Journal of Innovation and Sustainable Development, Vol. 5, No. 2-3, pp. 100-104.
4 Pages Posted: 17 Oct 2011 Last revised: 28 Oct 2014
Date Written: 2011
The concept of innovation is as omnipresent in the media, in politics and in the economy as it is intangible and fuzzy. Focusing on its technological dimension, we find a hybrid interplay of technological and social systems. Accordingly, we observe an ongoing and increasingly complex co-evolution of technological innovation, enabling technologies and socio-economic structures of society, which all have high impacts on the form of innovation (products, product architectures, organizational and institutional arrangements) as well as on the innovation process itself.
Following Max Bense’s (1965) idea of a technical onto-genesis within trans-classical technology, we have to ask how new information and communication technologies determine innovation processes. The so-called computer communication (Baecker, 2007) – broadly perceived as communication either disseminated by computers (internet, web 2.0, blogs, open innovation software, Google) or made by programmed computers (artificial intelligence, simulation, multi agents) – affects innovation. Today, vanguard practitioners use information and communication technology as enabler for rounding off innovation processes by means of stimulation and acceleration of communication, creativity and reliability. For example, Swiss open innovation service provider Atizo AG organizes an online innovation network where virtual communities and companies get in contact and jointly develop ideas or products (Roth, 2009; Roth, 2010). Some companies use e.g. MakerBot – an open source 3D printer robot – for advanced rapid prototyping that transfers communicative accessible design into fully functional goods. Yet others simulate entire innovation processes from cradle to cradle to make profitable organizational decisions.
Against this background, the focus of the following contributions is on the technological dimension of innovation and the corresponding technological construction of social reality within organizations.
Keywords: Technology, systems theory, social systems, technological systems, sustainability, Luhmann, Bense
JEL Classification: O31, O32
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