How digitalization can transform, has transformed and will transform our society

The open access chapter Theorizing transformative innovations: the role of agency in real critical junctures was recently published in the book Diversity, Innovation and Clusters.

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The aim of the chapter is to contribute to the research initiative at Ostfold University college, The Digital Society, by outlining a research program for the study of how digitalization can transform, has transformed and will transform our society. 

The authors are Lilja Mósesdóttir and Ívar Jónsson who are both professors in the section for Economic and Business Administration (ØKAD) at the Østfold University College. 

The research program advances our theoretical understandings of the forces and processes at play when societies are facing the challenge of a shift in societal and technological regimes or what we term as critical junctures. During periods of real critical junctures, stakeholders and political actors struggle for different alternatives in societal development after long periods of relatively stable institutions and actor relations. We demonstrate how transformative change to an alternative path, such as the 4th industrial revolution, requires transformative innovation. 

A shift towards transformative innovation systems requires innovation policy to take into account the interests of a larger number of stakeholders than before and to engage users and end-consumers in policy formation processes. Finally, transformative change during critical junctures includes different phases where backlashes or lock-in situations may occur when regressive groups gain political capacities to stop or reverse transformative changes.

Based on our contribution, we presume further studies may tackle research questions such as: What groups of actors are searching for future alternatives and for what reasons? Are groups of actors at either the micro-, meso- or macro-level attempting to build coalitions around certain future developmental models and what barriers do they encounter and why? Who is participating in these coalitions and for what reasons? To what extent are innovation policies mission-orientated, experimental and transformative? To what extent are the phases in real critical junctures valid for different case studies and to what extent are our four phases able to generate empirical growth in terms of predicting novel facts?

Refrences: Chapter 6: Theorizing transformative innovations: the role of agency in real critical junctures in the book Diversity, Innovation and Clusters.


Lilja Mósesdóttir

Professor ved Avdeling for økonomi, språk og samfunnsfag
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Ívar Jónsson 

Professor ved Avdeling for økonomi, språk og samfunnsfag

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Published June 22, 2020 2:06 PM - Last modified June 22, 2020 4:50 PM