Articles

Aesthetics of business innovation: experiencing 'internal process' versus 'external jolts'

R. RAMIREZ, N. Arvidsson

Innovation: Management, Policy and Practice

October 2005, vol. 7, n°4, pp.373-388

Departments: Management & Human Resources

Keywords: Business aesthetics, Internal-process, External-jolt, Organisational fit, Managing innovation, Sustainable business cycle, Shell's Gamechanger, Case study, Management implications


This paper summarizes findings of a research project on business innovation. It contrasts two forms of innovation – those of ‘internal process’ and ‘external jolt’. We propose that their deployment depends on how managers responsible for business innovation in large firms feel about, and sense and make sense of innovation. The felt–sensed form of innovation that they find appealing or with which they are comfortable, makes a big difference on what type of innovation process is actually put in place, and is sometimes manifested in the actual business model. Our ambition is to highlight these so-called ‘non-rational’ aspects in innovation decision-making that, we propose, complement – and sometimes shape – rational analyses determining managerial efforts to innovate


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