Considerable evidence indicates that the U.S. is falling behind when it comes to innovation. In part, this shift stems from the globalization of research and the advancement of other nations. But, it also arises from a widespread failure to adapt to the competitive environment generated by the evolution of science and technology.
The objective of this book is to provide possible remedies for eight key obstacles that the U.S. faces in restoring its innovative edge. Understanding that these remedies are complex, each chapter also discusses the dilemmas and impediments that make change a challenge. Unlike other books that suggest simple fixes to the U.S. innovation crisis, this book argues that the management of innovation requires multiple interventions at four different levels: in research teams, organizations, economic and non-economic sectors, and society at large.
Restoring the Innovative Edge offers specific recommendations for new forms of data collection, fresh ideas about cooperation between the public and the private sectors in manufacturing research, and a policy evaluation model that measures technical progress—and obstacles to it—in real time. Moreover, the book's multi-level perspective allows for the integration of a number of specialties within Sociology and Management around the theme of a new socio-economic paradigm, built on ideas of evolution and failed evolution.
About the author
Jerald Hage is Director of the Center for Innovation, University of Maryland. He started studying organizational innovation in the 1960s, and since then has also worked on institutional analysis in health, education, and welfare—primarily with comparative studies of Europe. Hage has authored or co-authored 16 books and over 100 papers. Presently he is directing two major research projects funded the National Science Foundation, as well as a project for the STAR division of the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration.
"Concerned about the U.S. losing its innovative edge? Read Hage's book. He offers a new paradigm that is non-static, evolutionary, and sector focused—the meso level that places innovation processes squarely at the center of analysis. Densely packed with rich examples, this book offers practical, proactive managerial and policy remedies."
—Connie K. N. Chang, former Chief of Staff and Research Director to the Under Secretary for Technology, U.S. Department of Commerce
"Restoring the Innovative Edge presents a novel contribution to our understanding of how to create innovative organizations within a fiercely competitive international environment. This book will influence the debate on how to upgrade national competitiveness."
—Steven Casper, Henry E. Riggs Professor of Management, Keck Graduate Institute of Applied Life Sciences
"Hage has written a masterful and unique book. He has taken on an incredibly important topic—national and firm competitiveness—and has created a volume that is at once rigorous, creative, and relevant. Hage suggests that sustained competitive advantage is rooted in radical product and process innovation and that these outcomes are nurtured by heterogeneous research teams and contexts. But also, these processes can be shaped by actions that span the firm, its sector, and public policy. Sustained innovation is clearly difficult and requires systematic diagnosis and action. Given its potential as a beacon on this challenging path, Restoring the Innovative Edge belongs on academics desks, in corporate board rooms, on policy makers' agenda, as well as in the managers' office."
—Michael Tushman, Paul R. Lawrence, Class of 1942 Professor at the Harvard Business School
"Jerry Hage presents thorough and insightful descriptions of the organizational elements that promote scientific discovery and innovation. Of particular interests are the clear outlines of practical steps for building an organization for innovation; specific examples of highly effective innovative teams; and details on how private-public partnerships can be pro-competitive in rapidly changing technology sectors. Jerry Hage also makes it clear throughout the book that more relevant and timely metrics are necessary inputs into the innovation process."
—Kaye Husbands Fealing, Hubert H. Humphrey School of Public Affairs, University of Minnesota and founding Program Director of the Science of Science and Innovation Policy, National Science Foundation