Innovation and creativity

A slogan, nothing but a slogan

Authored by: Benoît Godin

Routledge Handbook of the Economics of Knowledge

Print publication date:  December  2014
Online publication date:  December  2014

Print ISBN: 9780415640992
eBook ISBN: 9780203082324
Adobe ISBN: 9781136178658


 Download Chapter



If there is one basic idea that defines research and development (R&D) and technological innovation today, it is certainly that of creativity. But what is creativity? In a review article on the study of technological innovation among economists, Dominique Foray, the researcher responsible for the re-awakening of interest in the concept of a knowledge economy in the 2000s, states his intention to enlighten us on what economics ignores, in particular creativity. However, Foray is nothing if not frugal when it comes to providing a definition and analysis of what creativity is, except to state briefly that it is “l’aptitude à engendrer de la nouveauté, des nouvelles idées” (the aptitude to engender novelty, new ideas) (Foray, 2004: 246). To Foray, creativity is the “fruit du hasard … et de la nécessité” (fruit of chance and necessity). It remains a mystery. In addition, Foray makes reference to two metaphors, including the Scrabble metaphor, to explain the combination and chance inherent in creativity. Furthermore, in a reminder of Schumpeter’s famous metaphor on “creative destruction” (Foray, 2004: 242), Foray discusses one half of the metaphor (destruction), but the second (creativity) not at all. Foray concludes: “jusqu’à présent, l’analyse économique de l’innovation n’a pas porté très loin”; the study of creativity is “un domaine encore en friche” (up to the present, the economic analysis of innovation has not led very far; the study of creativity is a realm still fallow) (Foray, 2004: 272). Foray’s analysis is itself a perfect example of state of the art.

Search for more...
Back to top

Use of cookies on this website

We are using cookies to provide statistics that help us give you the best experience of our site. You can find out more in our Privacy Policy. By continuing to use the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies.