Biotechnological developments, socio-technical processes and materiality: the affordances and constraints of ‘social innovation'

Patrick Mark Dawson, Lisa Daniel

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Abstract

There is a commercial focus to mainstream studies on biotechnology innovation, with little attention paid to the dialogical spaces, material practice and relational networks that serve to afford or constrain the ‘social innovations’ that support the biotechnological developments. In this, as in other areas of innovation, problems of innovative sustainability as well as innovation acceptance and ultimate integration into its intended end use remain problematic. We suggest these challenges are inherent in the socio-technical processes concomitant to the intended innovative outcome and that they often remain implicit and as a result are largely unsupported. In drawing on data from the Australian biotechnology industry, ‘social innovations’ - as the socio-technical processes and dynamics associated with the development and uptake of biotechnology innovations - are examined through a qualitative case analysis drawn from the Australian bioindustry. The purpose of this study is twofold: first, to illustrate the importance of socio-technical processes in the emergence of biotechnological innovations and second, to reveal the fundamental importance of materiality in examining the underplayed and understated material dimension to innovation and change.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2012
Event12th EURAM Conference on Social Innovation for Competitiveness, Organizational Performance and Human Excellence - Rotterdam, Netherlands
Duration: 5 Jun 20128 Jun 2012

Conference

Conference12th EURAM Conference on Social Innovation for Competitiveness, Organizational Performance and Human Excellence
CountryNetherlands
CityRotterdam
Period5/06/128/06/12

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    Dawson, P. M., & Daniel, L. (2012). Biotechnological developments, socio-technical processes and materiality: the affordances and constraints of ‘social innovation'. Paper presented at 12th EURAM Conference on Social Innovation for Competitiveness, Organizational Performance and Human Excellence, Rotterdam, Netherlands.