Working on Innovation: 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Working on Innovation

1st Edition

Edited by Christophe Midler, Guy Minguet, Monique Vervaeke


228 pages | 15 B/W Illus.

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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



About the Editors

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.

About the Series

Routledge Studies in Innovation, Organizations and Technology

This innovative series explores the role of innovation and innovation management and technological advances from an organizational perspective. This series brings together theories from a wide range of individual disciplines and examines both the internal understanding and management and also an external, shareholder perspective. Routledge Studies in Innovation, Organizations and Technology (RIOT!) features cutting -edge research addressing all the major issues in business and management today, helping to define and advance the field.

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS / Workplace Culture
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS / Knowledge Capital