June 15, 2014
June 15, 2014
June 18, 2014
Entrepreneurship & Engineering Innovation
24.1053.1 - 24.1053.14
Rethinking Innovation: Characterizing Dimensions of ImpactInnovation – the introduction of novel or different ideas into use or practice that drive impact – isreceiving increased attention across many domains including engineering, science, business, andgovernment, and many schools of thought exist to characterize it. As a consequence, studies oninnovation have proliferated at multiple levels of analysis including individuals, organizations,regions, nations, and society. Yet the study of innovation has been centered on the analysis ofchange across many meta-classification schemas such as change in form or function, change inunderlying technological performance, change in the systems that involve the innovation, or achange in the perspective of the end user affected by the innovation, which all effectively retain avery local focus around the object of the innovation. This paper reframes the construct ofinnovation by unpacking a previously unexplored dimension of focus – the measures of impactcaused by the object of innovation, which span time, affected stakeholders, and functional,social, and emotional (i.e., socioeconomic) implications. To do this, the paper reviews themultiple historical dimensions that have been used to characterize innovation and frames an areaof opportunity for practitioners and researchers – the pursuit and study of innovation that isimpact-driven. The paper examines dimensions of impact using historical innovations asevidence of each type of change, both while the innovation was being developed (i.e., ex ante)and the impact that is noticeable after the fact (i.e., ex post). This treatment underscores the needto study ways to more predictably drive innovation of broad, enabling impact that facilitatestransformations across society – as opposed to relying on evolutionary processes. Theimplications of the impact dimension of innovation for engineering education are discussed fromthe perspective of research, practice, teaching, and learning. The contribution of the frameworkis a new way to think about innovation and its implications on the solutions to important,complex, and unaddressed societal challenges.
Solis, F., & Sinfield, J. V. (2014, June), Rethinking Innovation: Characterizing Dimensions of Impact Paper presented at 2014 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Indianapolis, Indiana. 10.18260/1-2--22986
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