Summary of The Innovation Journey

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The Innovation Journey book summary
A detailed dissection of how companies come up with and implement new ideas.


6 Overall

5 Applicability

9 Innovation

5 Style


Andrew H. Van de Ven and his co-authors, quite an innovative crew, have crafted a thorough academic model of the corporate innovation process. The authors use a river rafting trip analogy for the innovation journey, where uncharted, challenging territory demands leadership and cooperation. The river metaphor is good to keep in mind here, because the subject matter gets a little dry. The team found that common factors exist in every quest for innovation, and constructed a cohesive model for innovators. The material - resulting from 17 years of research at the University of Minnesota’s Minnesota Innovation Research Foundation (MIRP) - is truly exhaustive, detailed and academic. Because of this, a reader with no background in innovation theory might find it somewhat arcane. getabstract recommends this book to anyone who wants to understand the complex process of corporate innovation.

In this summary, you will learn

  • Why you should discard old innovation theories in favor of new models
  • How the innovation process works
  • Why companies must manage to compete and cooperate simultaneously during the innovation process


Dropping Old Theories about Innovation
Innovation is a complex process, but similarities exist in all innovative efforts. Existing innovation theories propose that linear, progressive and random forces determine the direction of innovation. Now, advances in dynamic systems theory, a branch...
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About the Authors

Andrew H. Van de Ven led the MIRP research project. He is the Vernon H. Heath Professor of Organizational Innovation and Change in the Carlson School of Management at the University of Minnesota. Douglas E. Polley, Raghu Garud, and Sankaran Venkataraman all received doctorates from the Carlson School of Management, and were integral members of the MIRP team.

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