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Sharing and Spreading Innovations

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Valuing Public Innovation
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Abstract

This chapter focuses on how innovations are shared and spread across social systems. This is sometimes called the diffusion of innovations, though we will argue for spread as the key concept. The chapter explores the processes, the drivers and the obstacles to these processes in public innovation. This chapter has five parts. It starts with Rogers’ well-known diffusion theory, which is concerned with the spread of innovations that seem to be successful in one context and deployed in another context. The second part looks at the legacy of Rogers’ conceptualization. The third part critiques that diffusion model in two ways—in relation to how organizations learn as they adopt/adapt ideas and practices from other contexts and also in relation to power. The fourth part of the chapter addresses power as it relates to the spreading and adoption (or adaption) of existing innovations in new contexts. In the last part, translation theories, both the actor–network theory approach and the organizational translation approach will be discussed. These are alternative diffusion theories that clearly see power as part of the spread and translation process.

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Rønning, R., Hartley, J., Geuijen, K., Fuglsang, L. (2022). Sharing and Spreading Innovations. In: Valuing Public Innovation. Palgrave Macmillan, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-031-15203-0_4

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