7Bricolage and Improvisation: Two Key Cogs of Innovative Creation

Since Schumpeter (1939, 1942), it has been customary to distinguish between incremental innovation (incremental to what already exists) and radical innovation (creation destroying what already exists). This rudimentary binary typology has been perfected (Abernathy and Clark 1985) by crossing this first predefined axis with a new axis concerning the commercial versus technical dimension: therefore, for example, just to illustrate the point, if Concorde is an engineer’s technical project, Airbus is a successful commercial project. However, the initial fundamental binary classification has never been denied, and proposes a first classificatory sieve of reference by addressing only the technological offer (which may constitute a limit). Moreover, it should be noted that any classification is carried out ex post: determining a priori whether an innovation will prove to be radical is delicate and improbable. In addition, we must insist on the dynamics of organizational capacities and of the renewal and/or creation of competences (see above) in a collective approach to the essential role of communities of practice (Brown and Duguid 1991), leading to today’s communities of innovation. Furthermore, demand and use itself, within communities of use, play an increasingly important role because of the disruptive innovations (Bower and Christensen 1995) that mark and distinguish, in practice, the before and after (e.g. Internet; ...

Get Frugal Innovation and Innovative Creation now with the O’Reilly learning platform.

O’Reilly members experience books, live events, courses curated by job role, and more from O’Reilly and nearly 200 top publishers.