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Networks of Innovation: Change and Meaning in the Age of the Internet Paperback – 1 Mar 2006

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Product details

  • Paperback: 264 pages
  • Publisher: OUP Oxford; First Paperback edition (1 Mar. 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0199269051
  • ISBN-13: 978-0199269051
  • ASIN: 019926905X
  • Product Dimensions: 23.1 x 2 x 15.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 405,066 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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Review from previous edition Surprisingly rewarding ... Food for thought for anyone who has to create new ideas for a living. (Focus)

Tuomi's Networks of Innovation provides a fresh and extremely insightful analysis of how disruptive innovation actually happens, why innovation is so unpredictable and how is it intimately linked to the change of social practices. In addition he provides a brillant analysis of the innovative processes underlying the creation of both the internet and Linux sidestepping the ideology of open source while providing a highly nuanced reading of its context. This beautifully written book is a must read for any student of innovation. (John Seely Brown, Director Emeritus, Xerox Palo Alto Research Center (PARC); co-author The Social Life of Information)

This book blends a sophisticated theory of innovation with in-depth knowledge of some of the key inventions of the Internet era, including the world wide web, and open source software. It is an essential contribution to the understanding of the Information Technology revolution as a cultural, social, and organizational process. (Manuel Castells, Professor of Sociology, University of California at Berkeley)

Networks of Innovation illustrates and illuminates the history, the current situation, and the future of the Internet. The book advances theories of innovation and knowledge creation, and explores important problems and possibilities in an era when information and knowledge can be easily transferred via virtual communication. (Ikujiro Nonaka, Professor, International Corporate Strategy, Hitotsubashi University)

Tuomi's excellent work analyses the complex relationships between innovative change and the construction of meaning. If you are interested in the wider societal and economic implications of the Internet, you should read this book! (Georg von Krogh, Professor of Management, University of St. Gallen, Switzerland)

About the Author

Ilkka Tuomi is at Visiting Scientist at the European Joint Research Centre, Institute for Prospective Technological Studies, Seville. Ilkka Tuomi is at Visiting Scientist at the European Joint Research Centre, Institute for Prospective Technological Studies, Seville.

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Format: Paperback
The hardback version of this book appeared in 2002 and the paperback now appears from Oxford unchanged. There is not even a new foreword that seeks to justify the lack of updates. The assumption must be, therefore, that the book's contents have aged at a slower rate than the "dog years" at which Tuomi tells us life is lived on the Net. To be fair to Tuomi, however, many of his main arguments have been proved correct in the intervening years.

It's worth stating immediately that this is not a book for the general reader. Although Tuomi presents a coherent and telling history of the development of many of the Internet's major components, there are more lay-accessible books covering the same ground. ("Where Wizards Stay up Late" by Katie Hafner, for instance.) The book contains ideas and information that would appeal to readers interested in the Internet's history and future, but this information tends to be buried within what is first and foremost an academic thesis on the socio-economic forces at work in technological innovation.

What, then, are the major claims contained in Tuomi's text? Firstly, Tuomi believes that, "the traditional models of innovation are often misleading, and that they will become increasingly misleading in the future." He is keen to avoid looking at innovation in abstract terms and wishes to place innovative events within a clear social and economic context. This leads to his second main argument, which is that "innovation occurs when social practice changes." By this, Tuomi means specifically events which offer new opportunities for collaboration. Mobility - both technological and of people and resources - is key here.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 1 review
Innovation viewed through a social lens 27 Jan. 2008
By R. Ruiz De Querol - Published on
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A short book, written from the perspective of a research interested in the links between "Technology" and "Society". To me the book was worth reading if only for its focus on two insights.

a) Innovation is about social change. A new product, a new technology, that does not provoke changes of behaviour will end up just being a foot note in some academic record. Socially irrelevant.

b) Radical innovations tend to appear in the intersection between disciplines. Specialized organizations produce incremental innovations. Radical innovations require a more open environment. The history of the development of Internet, covered in the book, is a good example.

A quick read, non academical.
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