Innovation and the Global Financial Crisis: Systemic Consequences of Incompetence

Karl-Erik Sveiby

Forskningsoutput: TidskriftsbidragArtikelVetenskapligPeer review

8 Citeringar (Scopus)


The article applies the concept of incompetence by Polanyi (1962) and the concept of unintended consequences by Merton (1936) to explore the development of a radical financial innovation, securitization. This innovation changed the context for all actors in the financial industry repeatedly to such a degree that even the highest regarded experts repeatedly made prediction errors. The negative effects of prediction errors have since 1980 gradually became larger until today when even a single individual decision by a portfolio manager may risk global financial mayhem. The conclusion is that financial innovation has become a lot riskier than is commonly appreciated in economic theory and practice. Our limited ability to foresee the consequences of our actions are fundamental to innovation and product development. Unintended and undesired outcomes should be acknowledged as an untapped resource for improving the net effects of innovation. The article suggests approaches to deal with the risk.
Referentgranskad vetenskaplig tidskriftInternational Journal of Entrepreneurship and Innovation Management
Sidor (från-till)30-50
Antal sidor21
StatusPublicerad - 12.2012
MoE-publikationstypA1 Originalartikel i en vetenskaplig tidskrift


  • 511 Nationalekonomi
  • 512 Företagsekonomi
  • KOTA2012

Styrkeområden och områden med hög potential (AoS och AoHP)

  • AoS: Ansvarsfull organisering
  • AoS: Finansiering, redovisning och företagsstyrning


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  • The Future of Innovation

    Sveiby, K., Segercrantz, B., Berglund, K. & Gripenberg, P.

    Unknown funder

    17.12.2008 → …

    Projekt: Externt finansierat projekt

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