Common Innovation


Common Innovation

How We Create the Wealth of Nations

9781847200501 Edward Elgar Publishing
G.M. Peter Swann, Emeritus Professor of Industrial Economics, Nottingham University Business School, UK
Publication Date: February 2015 ISBN: 978 1 84720 050 1 Extent: 272 pp
Common innovation is the contribution of ordinary people to innovation and the wealth of nations. Innovation and wealth creation are not merely the monopoly of business. While Schumpeter described business innovation as a, ‘perennial gale of creative destruction’, common innovation is more a, ‘gentle and benign breeze’. This book analyses some illustrations of the destructive side of business innovation, and provides numerous examples of the ‘benign breeze’ of common innovation. It builds on the pioneering work of von Hippel, but takes that a step further. In common innovation, the ordinary citizen is centre stage and business can be quite peripheral

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In his challenging book, Common Innovation, Peter Swann argues that innovation and wealth creation are not the monopoly of business but the contribution of ordinary people. Joseph Schumpeter, the pioneer of innovation research, described business innovation as a ‘perennial gale of creative destruction’, whereas common innovation is, by comparison, a ‘gentle and benign breeze’. In common innovation, the ordinary citizen is centre stage, and business is quite peripheral.

Building upon the pioneering work of Eric von Hippel on democratic and user-led innovation, this book goes a step further – offering essential comparisons between business and common innovation, real and material wealth, and oikonomia and the ‘outer economy’. Analyses and examples of the destructive side of business innovation accompany Swann’s illustration of the ‘benign breeze’ of common innovation, and a powerful and exciting new role for Leontief models is introduced.

This book will be of great interest to scholars and students seeking a more expansive and insightful understanding of the economics of innovation and wealth.
Critical Acclaim
''Professor Swann summarizes the core thesis of his book beautifully in his concluding remarks: “. . . common innovation is about how we, ordinary people, create the wealth of nations. Business has no monopoly of innovation or of wealth creation.” I applaud Swann’s thoughtful efforts to move forward our understanding of this understudied, yet very important topic!''
– Eric von Hippel, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, US

Contents: PART I INTRODUCTION, CONCEPTS AND FRAMEWORKS 1. Introduction 2. M-Wealth and R-Wealth 3. B-Innovation and C-Innovation 4. Oikonomia and the Outer Economy 5. The Values of Innovation 6. Analytical Framework PART II THE DESTRUCTIVE SIDE OF B-INNOVATION 7. Wide Frames and the Luddites 8. The Division of Labour 9. Online and Local Booksellers 10. Software Innovation and e-Waste 11. Parkinson’s Law of Traffic 12. Innovation and Consumerism 13. High Frequency Trading 14. Summary of Part II PART III THE BENIGN BREEZE OF C-INNOVATION 15. Introduction to Part III 16. Consumption and the Home 17. Natural Environment 18. Socio-Economic Environment 19. Education 20. Arts 21. Science 22. Health 23. Business and the Marketplace PART IV IMPLICATIONS AND HYPOTHESES 24. No Business Monopoly 25. Many Routes to Wealth Creation 26. C-Innovation and the Future References Index
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