The academic discourse of innovation and the self-reinforcing circle: A research framework

Beata Segercrantz, Karl-Erik Sveiby, Karin Berglund

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionScientificpeer-review


Using Schumpeter’s concept ‘creative destruction’ as the starting point, we approach innovation as a discursive terrain where discourses compete to ascribe meanings to innovation. We conduct a discourse analysis of the most influential management articles to explore the dominant academic management discourse of innovation. The analysis shows that the dominant academic management discourse energizes an accelerating, self-reinforcing circle, which focuses on creating organizational benefits while only hinting at the destructive effects. Such effects propagate through organizations/society, sometimes re-creating what was positive in one context as something undesirable in another. We argue that the destruction aspect of the self-reinforcing circle is under-researched in management studies. The paper provides a research framework that interconnects competing discourses of innovation by broadening the
scope to include the societal systemic and destructive effects of the self-reinforcing circle. We suggest that a research framework that includes innovation towards sustainable organisations needs to be integrating into the dominant management discourse of innovation in order to transform how firms think about innovation, future growth paths and how to organize for that.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of 32nd EGOS Colloquium, Naples : Organising in the shadow of power
Publication date06.07.2016
Publication statusPublished - 06.07.2016
MoE publication typeA4 Article in conference proceedings
Event32nd European Group for Organizational Studies Colloquium (EGOS)
- Naples, Naples, Italy
Duration: 06.07.201609.07.2016
Conference number: 32


  • 512 Business and Management

Areas of Strength and Areas of High Potential (AoS and AoHP)

  • AoS: Responsible organising
  • AoS: Leading for growth and well-being


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