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Book Details

INNOVATION : THE MISSING DIMENSION (SC)


By LESTER, RICHARD K. (Author), PIORE, MICHAEL JOSEPH (Author)
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Price : $20.00  $16.00
ISBN : 9780674019942  
Page : 240
Year of Publication : 2004    Edition : 1
Publisher : HARVARD UNIVERSITY PRESS
Subject : ENGINEERING



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Description :

Amid mounting concern over the loss of jobs to low-wage economies, one fact is clear: America's prosperity hinges on the ability of its businesses to continually introduce new products and services. But what makes for a creative economy? How can the remarkable surge of innovation that fueled the boom of the 1990s be sustained?

For an answer, Richard K. Lester and Michael J. Piore examine innovation strategies in some of the economy's most dynamic sectors. Through eye-opening case studies of new product development in fields such as cell phones, medical devices, and blue jeans, two fundamental processes emerge.

One of these processes, analysis--rational problem solving--dominates management and engineering practice. The other, interpretation, is not widely understood, or even recognized--although, as the authors make clear, it is absolutely crucial to innovation. Unlike problem solving, interpretation embraces and exploits ambiguity, the wellspring of creativity in the economy. By emphasizing interpretation, and showing how these two radically different processes can be combined, Lester and Piore's book gives managers and designers the concepts and tools to keep new products flowing.

But the authors also offer an unsettling critique of national policy. By ignoring the role of interpretation, economic policymakers are drawing the wrong lessons from the 1990s boom. The current emphasis on expanding the reach of market competition will help the analytical processes needed to implement innovation. But if unchecked it risks choking off the economy's vital interpretive spaces. Unless a more balanced policy approach is adopted, warn Lester and Piore, America's capacity to innovate--its greatest economic asset--will erode.



Richard K. Lester is Japan Steel Industry Professor and Head of the Department of Nuclear Science and Engineering (NSE) at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where he is also the founding director of the MIT Industrial Performance Center (IPC). His teaching and research focus on innovation management and policy, with an emphasis on the energy and manufacturing sectors. He has led large-scale studies of national and regional competitiveness and innovation performance in North America, Europe, and Asia. He has also written extensively on the management and control of nuclear technology. In addition to his latest book, Unlocking Energy Innovation, other recent books include Innovation - The Missing Dimension (with Michael J. Piore), on the sources of creativity and innovation in advanced economies, and Making Technology Work, based on a popular MIT course on "Applications of Technology in Energy and the Environment" he co-taught for many years with his colleagu

Michael Joseph Piore (born August 14, 1940) is an American economist and professor of economics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. His research centers on labor economics, immigration, and innovation. He was awarded a MacArthur Fellowship in 1984. Piore attended Harvard University and received a B.A. in Economics in 1962 and Ph.D. in 1966. He has been a faculty member at MIT since 1966 and has previously served as a consultant to the Department of Labor between 1968 and 1970 and labor consultant to the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico between 1970 and 1972.



Content :

Introduction | Integration in Cell Phones, Blue Jeans, and Medical Devices | Where Do Problems Come From? | Conversation, Interpretation, and Ambiguity | The Missed Connections of Modern Management | Combining Analysis and Interpretation | Public Space | Universities as Public Spaces | Learning the Right Lessons about Competitiveness | Notes | Acknowledgments | Index

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