1st Edition

Working on Innovation

ISBN 9780415754477
Published August 12, 2014 by Routledge
242 Pages 15 B/W Illustrations

USD $54.95

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Book Description

Since the mid-1980s, the development of competitive strategies based on intensive innovation has deeply transformed the design of new products and services. Much has been written about new methods and organizations that are likely to develop economically competitive and creative capacities in companies. But much less has been written about transformation of work and identity of professionals involved in these transitions : engineers, industrial designers, researchers, professionals in marketing strategy and especially project managers. The work of “innovation professionals” is truly difficult to observe because of its very nature (intangible work done over a long period of time), its inaccessibility, and its status. The purpose of this book is to put forward a number of keys for understanding the ongoing dynamics for working professionals in the field of innovation.

Examining reorganizations in both large-scale firms and start-ups, the authors explore diverse sectors such as hi-tech, consumer goods and equipment, chemistry, aeronautics as well as upstream companies working for subsidiaries and traditional small-scale production such. The result is to show a world of networks where a large-scale firm undertakes research in partnership with a start-up, develops its products with independent designers and involves upstream suppliers in its developments. Also analyzed are the industrial strategies, the organizational conditions of product conception, and the dynamics of the professional identities of the actors who are at the core of these transformations.

This impressive and unique volume will be of interest to all those interested in innovation studies, new technology policy and management as well as engineers and designers themselves.

Table of Contents



List of Abbreviations


1. Introduction: The New Regimes of Design in Industry and Working Process Christophe Midler, Guy Minguet, Monique Vervaeke


Part One: Constructing the Value of Innovation


2. Innovation-Driven Competition and Design System Dynamics: The Case of Car Communication Systems Christophe Midler, Sylvain Lenfle


3. From Watching the Markets to Making Trends: The Role of Industrial Designers in Competitive Strategies Monique Vervaeke


4. Concurrent Exploration and Research Management: Case Study Featuring a Speciality Chemicals Company Lise Gastaldi, Christophe Midler


5. Innovation Quest & Organization Dynamics in Start-Up: Linking the Cognitive and Social Dimensions in Start-Up Development  Philippe Silberzahn, Christophe Midler


Part Two: Innovations, Training And Social Identities


6. Engineering In Torment: Anomy or the Emergence of a Model Guy Minguet, Florence Osty


7. What Social Model Should Apply to Industrial Research? Analyzing Changes in Human Resources Management in a Speciality Chemicals Company Lise Gastaldi


8. Autopsy of the Internet Bubble: A Managerial Revolution or Capitalizing on Employees’ Emotions (France 1998-2003) Emmanuelle Savignac, Anne-Marie Waser


9. Redynamizing Trades: A Case Study in Aeronautic Industry  Philippe Lefebvre, Pascal Roos, Jean-Claude Sardas

 List of Editors


 List of Contributors





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Christophe Midler, Research Director at the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - National centre for scientific research, (CNRS), director of the Ecole Polytechnique’s Centre de Recherche en Gestion (CRG-Management Research Center) and Professor chair de Management de l’innovation, Ecole Polytechnique.

Guy Minguet, Professor of sociology, Deputy Head for Research of Human and Social Sciences department, Ecole des Mines de Nantes.

Monique Vervaeke, Sociologist, Researcher at the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, Laboratoire Maurice Halbwachs, École Normale supérieure, Paris.