A community perspective on the emergence of innovations

Andrew H. Van de Ven

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

82 Scopus citations


This paper proposes a social system framework at the interorganizational community level to examine how an industrial infrastructure emerges to facilitate and inhibit technological innovation. This infrastructure includes institutional arrangements, resource endowments, and proprietary activities that are necessary to develop and transform basic scientific knowledge into commercially viable products or services. We argue that this community infrastructure emerges through the accretion of numerous institutional, resource, and proprietary events which co-produce each other through the actions of public and private sector actors over an extended period of time. The practical implications of this perspective emphasize that innovation managers must not only be concerned with micro developments of a proprietary technical device or product within their organization, but also with the creation of a macro industrial system, which embodies the social, economic, and political infrastructure that any technological community needs to sustain its members.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)23-51
Number of pages29
JournalJournal of Engineering and Technology Management
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - Jun 1993


  • Industrial infrastructure
  • Industry evolution
  • Innovation process
  • Technological innovation

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