Sociology of Innovation: The Social and Cultural Structure of Innovative Societies

Sunday, 10 July 2016: 10:45-12:15
Location: Hörsaal 18 (Juridicum)
RC23 Sociology of Science and Technology (host committee)
RC02 Economy and Society

Language: English

Technological change and innovation have always been a major issue for research and theory development in sociology. Lately the capacity to create and recombine knowledge with other social and economic resources is related to transformative sociological endeavors, as the one represented by the ISA motto “The futures that we want”.   
The current interdisciplinary field of innovation studies already uses sociological concepts and methodologies. Some examples are: the role of social capital in innovation networks, the importance of institutions in innovation systems, and the influence of culture in the diffusion of innovations. Nevertheless, sociology sometimes is not visible enough and well incarnated in innovation studies. This creates important drawbacks for our understanding of innovation.   
The goal of this session is to help defining an agenda for the Sociology of Innovation in order to answer the questions: what is an innovative society from a sociological point of view? Which sociological factors contribute to innovative societies?   
The session will explore the influences shaping the innovative profile and the innovation performance of societies. One the one hand, it will explore aspects of social structure that shape innovation, such as power, class structures, status hierarchies and organizational arrangements. On the other hand, it will consider symbolic and cultural elements and their role in innovation, including values, cognitive repertoires, rules and institutions. Theoretical approaches, comparative research and empirical studies, both qualitative and quantitative, are welcome, especially papers wishing to disentangle the meaning of the social and cultural structure of innovation.
Session Organizers:
Manuel FERNANDEZ ESQUINAS, Agencia Estatal Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas (CSIC), Spain and Madelon VAN OOSTROM, Tenerife Science & Technology Park, Spain
Legitimization As the Foundation of Innovative Societies
Jurgen POESCHE, none, Canada; Ilkka KAURANEN, Aalto University, Finland
Mapping the Innovative Profile of a Society Using a General Population Survey
Manuel FERNANDEZ ESQUINAS, CSIC-Spanish Council for Scientific Research, Spain; Madelon VAN OOSTROM, Tenerife Science & Technology Park, Spain
The Sociological Dimensions of Innovation Indicators
Diego SILVA, University of Campinas (UNICAMP), Brazil; Andre FURTADO, University of Campinas (UNICAMP), Brazil
Social Topography of Innovation Space: On the Role of Institutions, Networks and Cognitive Space
Borut RONCEVIC, School of Advanced Social Studies, Slovenia; Victor CEPOI, School of Advanced Social Studies, Slovenia
Innovation and Organisational Culture in Small and Medium-Sized High-Tech Companies
Frane ADAM, Institute for developmental and strategic analysis, Slovenia
The Italian Social Innovation of Consumer Purchasing Groups: An Empirical Evaluation of Its Social Impact
Lara MAESTRIPIERI, Universita' degli Studi di Pavia, Italy; Toa GIROLETTI, Department of Economical and Social Sciences - Università Cattolica di Piacenza, Italy; Nadia VON JACOBI, Department of Political and Social Science - University of Pavia, Italy