A paradoxical approach to support innovation policy

Date of publication: September 1, 1999


This paper aims to demonstrate that innovation has never been more important to companies and that the ‘paradox approach’ is an important ally to come up with genuinely innovative proposals for products and services. The authors show that the ‘paradox approach’ is both an empirical tool and a whole new basis for thinking. Moreover since paradoxes can be linked to the patterns of fundamental change in our societies innovations founded upon a paradoxical approach can have real meaning and a better chance of business success. Finally we argue that the emerging paradigm of complexity gives further support to the idea that innovation comes from paradox. The paper is structured in three parts: socio-dynamics - the patterns of the Second Modernity; empirical - innovation at the edge of paradoxes; and theoretical - the emerging paradigm of complexity.

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