ERIC Number: EJ932574
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 36
Yours, Mine or Ours: What Counts as Innovation?
Cooksey, Ray W.
Journal of Agricultural Education and Extension, v17 n3 p283-295 2011
In this paper, I argue that research and development organizations (R&DOs) have particular perspectives on what counts as an innovation whereas the potential adopting users usually have quite different often diverse perspectives. If these "worldviews" do not overlap or speak to each other, then what R&DOs consider innovative might constitute a waste of time and resources from the potential users' perspective, thereby negating the entire adoption process. Using complex systems theory and storytelling concepts, I argue that innovation emerges from the confluence of diverse stories. If, however, the dominant perspectives informing these stories originate from within an R&DO "(in-house storytelling)", then innovation will occur in a vacuum. Stories from potential adoption contexts external to an R&DO "(out-of-house storytelling)" need to be integrated into the innovation process at all stages whereupon out-of-house stories are actively sought out and brought into the R&DO "(inward flow)" and in-house stories are actively shared within relevant external contexts "(outward flow)". Juxtaposing in-house and out-of-house stories provides a co-evolving emergent pathway for innovation. The R&DO focuses its energy on needs/issues highlighted in out-of-house stories, thereby co-constructing the context for innovation and potential adoption. Those providing out-of-house stories become primed for innovation through an understanding of in-house stories, thereby co-constructing the adoption context. This paper integrates complex systems and storytelling concepts to provide a unique perspective on the innovation process; a process that explicitly harnesses the complex interactive dynamics between R&DOs and adopter contexts.
Descriptors: Innovation, Adoption (Ideas), Story Telling, Research and Development, Organizations (Groups), Agriculture, Systems Approach
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A