Taking Advantage of Emergence: Productively Innovating in Complex Innovation Systems

Hardcover | March 26, 2016

byDeborah Dougherty

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Our most pressing societal problems such as enhancing health care, developing alternate energy, revitalizing cities, and advancing the economy are complex innovation systems. Leveraging the enormous potential of sciences and technologies into better resolutions for these complex challengesrequires a transformation in the social technologies we use to tap this potential. The thesis of this book is that we can grapple with complex innovation systems only by taking advantage of emergence. This book creates a theoretical framework of three new social technologies for taking advantage of emergence in infrastructures of complex innovation systems. The central socialtechnology is abduction, the logic of discovery, for figuring out solutions to complex problems. Abductive reasoning differs significantly from deductive confirmation and simple rationality. The book details three abductive learning routines that enable innovators to grab up noisy and fragmentedinformation, synthesize it into hypothesized configurations that capture the inherent ambiguity, evaluate these configurations by exploring consequences and contingencies, and reframe to accumulate the learning. The second social technology divides the infrastructure into four distinct but entangledsubsystems of interpersonal action: the project, knowledge system, strategic, and institutional subsystems. Each subsystem is a vast multi-organizational network that must address its distinct problem if the infrastructure overall is to productively innovate. The author shows how cycling throughabductive learning routines overcomes problems in each subsystem that conventional approaches cannot deal with. The third social technology is a new way of organizing based on heterarchy, not hierarchy, with roles and relations defined through heedful interrelating.

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Our most pressing societal problems such as enhancing health care, developing alternate energy, revitalizing cities, and advancing the economy are complex innovation systems. Leveraging the enormous potential of sciences and technologies into better resolutions for these complex challengesrequires a transformation in the social technol...

Deborah Dougherty earned her PhD from the Sloan School of Management, M.I.T., and taught at Wharton (University of Pennsylvania) and McGill University prior to joining Rutgers University. Her current research focuses on complex innovation challenges, science-based innovation, and organizing for innovation. She has published more than 6...
Format:HardcoverDimensions:176 pages, 8.5 × 5.31 × 0.1 inPublished:March 26, 2016Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0198725299

ISBN - 13:9780198725299

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Table of Contents

1. It Takes an Infrastructure to Take Advantage of Emergence2. Abductive Reasoning as the Foundation for Taking Advantage of Emergence3. The Product Subsystem in the Infrastructure for Complex Innovation Systems: Navigating in the Labyrinth4. The Knowledge Subsystem in the Infrastructure for Taking Advantage of Emergence: Designing the Strategic Path for Drug Discovery by Integrating Sciences and Technologies5. The Strategic Management Subsystem in the Infrastructure for Taking Advantage of Emergence: Mustering the Staying Power to Persist and Learn6. The Institutional Subsystem in the Infrastructure for Taking Advantage of Emergence: Creating the Collaborative Commons7. Integrating Subsystems into an Infrastructure for Taking Advantage of Emergence