- Series: The Executive Bookshelf from the Sloan Management Review
- Hardcover: 232 pages
- Publisher: Oxford University Press; F First Edition edition (March 31, 1988)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0195040856
- ISBN-13: 978-0195040852
- Product Dimensions: 6.4 x 0.9 x 9.6 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
- Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,449,531 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Sources of Innovation (The Executive Bookshelf from the Sloan Management Review) F First Edition Edition
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"An important and interesting book. Meeting customers' needs through successful innovation is an extremely difficult challenge. Von Hippel provides a powerful method for understanding customers' needs when the mass of potential users may not yet understand their own needs."--Sloan Management Review
"An important study."--Robert J. Samuelson, Newsweek
"Each [of the book's two major studies] opens up new vistas on technical change, and for scholars interested in that topic this is must reading."--Journal of Economic Literature
"A path-breaking study."--Inc.
"This topic is important in modern business and industry, and the results of von Hippel's research could have wide-ranging implications for the way top management perceives the role of research and development....The book can be read by a broad audience--managers, graduate and undergraduate students, and thoughtful general readers."--Choice
"An important reference for future work on the characteristics of process innovation....Von Hippel's argument provides innovation managers with a powerful tool for identifying and addressing the nature of change that is needed within specific organizational structures."--RandD Management
"This book presents the results of pathbreaking research on two important topics. Von Hippel's research on the role of users in industrial invention, and, more generally, on the broader question of the locus of inventive activity in what the French call a filiere has changed the way that scholars of technological advance have looked at those questions. His more recent work, on technology sharing, has brought light to an aspect of technical change that scholars had not seen or understood before. This book will have a significant impact."--Richard R. Nelson, School of International and Public Affairs, Columbia University
"This book should be of widespread use to academic scholars and industrial managers interested in the fundamental processes of industrial innovation in the modern economy."--Edwin Mansfield, Director, Center for Economics and Technology and Professor of Economics, University of Pennsylvania
"Exciting new perspectives on the sources of innovation. The author's rich technological background and insight allow him to explain fundamental aspects of the innovation process that have been inaccessible to other researchers."--Anne P. Carter, Chair, Department of Economics, Brandeis University
"Von Hippel has made his study accessible to a wide variety of readers interested in better understanding the sources of innovation."--Technology and Culture --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
About the Author
Eric von Hippel is at Sloan School of Management, Massachusetts Institute of Technology. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top Customer Reviews
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I first read this book when it was first published (1988) and recently re-read it while preparing to review more recent books and then interview their authors. Countless books and articles about innovation have appeared during the last 25 years and authors of the best of them duly acknowledge (as they should) their substantial debt to von Hippel. To paraphrase Bernard of Chartres (a 12th century French monk), they stand atop the shoulders of this giant. If anything, the insights provided in The Sources of Innovation are even more relevant and more valuable now than ever before.
Long ago, I realized that the true value of most (if not all) breakthrough innovations is best determined by the nature and extent of the disruptive impact they have on the given status quo. Von Hippel focuses on several specific industries and discusses the data set for each:
o scientific instrument innovations
o semiconductor process innovations
o pultrusion process machinery innovations
o tractor shovel
o engineering plastics
o plastics additives
Major breakthrough innovations have occurred in each of these industries. As von Hippel explains, "Novel ways of categorizing innovators are only interesting if they open the way to a new insight. The first clue that the functional source of innovation is a potentially exciting way to categorize innovators comes with discovery that the source of innovation differs very significantly between [and among] categories of innovation."
For me, some of his most interesting and valuable material is provided in Chapter 3 as he examines "Variations in the Functional Source of Innovation," citing manufacturers as innovators (e.g. tractor shovel, engineering thermoplastics, and plastics additives), suppliers/manufacturers as innovators (e.g. wire termination equipment), and suppliers as innovators (e.g. process equipment utilizing industrial gases and thermoplastics). Three key points concerning this material should be stressed: during the collaboration process, those involved made countless modifications and adjustments; the source of innovation really does vary between and among those cited; and throughout, now matter who were involved, there was a process (albeit a flexible and resilient process) in place to achieve basic innovations and related major improvements.
This is by no means an "easy read" but it will reward generously those who read it and (hopefully) re-read it with appropriate care.
Head's Up: There are free downloads of this book and of Democratizing Innovation at [...]