Socialization of Innovation

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Innovation is no longer exclusive to the individual entreprise, but to an endless network of enterprises, and no longer in fact exclusive to corporations, but diffused throughout the social body.


Example of innovation as a diffuse process, from a report by Business Week:

" To get an idea of how diffuse the innovation process has become, try dissecting your new PDA, digital cameraphone, notebook PC, or cable set-top box. You will probably find a virtual U.N. of intellectual-property suppliers. The central processor may have come from Texas Instruments (TXN ) or Intel, and the operating system from BlackBerry (RIMM ), Symbian, or Microsoft. The circuit board may have been designed by Chinese engineers. The dozens of specialty chips and blocks of embedded software responsible for the dazzling video or crystal-clear audio may have come from chip designers in Taiwan, Austria, Ireland, or India. The color display likely came from South Korea, the high-grade lens from Japan or Germany. The cellular links may be of Nordic or French origin. If the device has Bluetooth technology, which lets digital appliances talk to each other, it may have been licensed from IXI Mobile Inc., one of dozens of Israeli wireless-telecom companies spun off from the defense industry." (http://www.businessweek.com/magazine/content/04_41/b3903409.htm?)

The socialization of innovation 'outside' of the enterprise

"Only a fraction of the aesthetic innovations made in society occurs within the wage labour relation. That is, in the space conceptualised by Tessa Morris-Suzuki as ‘before’ production, in laboratories and in ad agencies. Most aesthetic innovation takes place ‘after’ production. It happens 'after' the wage labour relation, in consumption, in communities, on the street, and on the school yard. It is here the social factory casts its long shadow. The social factory is a place with no walls, no gates, no boss, – and yet rift with antagonism." (Jan Soderbergh in http://info.interactivist.net/article.pl?sid=04/09/29/1411223)

The contribution by Tessa Morris-Suzuki mentioned above was written in: Jim Davis, Thomas A. Hirschl & Michael Stack, eds. Cutting edge: technology, information capitalism and social revolution, 1997