A general theory of innovation is proposed based on an analysis of the common characteristics and dynamics of two innovation archetypes, natural selection and the scientific method, along with innovation in other contexts such as business and technology. This Valuable Novelty Theory posits a probabilistic pattern of innovation called the Innovation Cycle and a complimentary pattern called the Status Quo Cycle. This approach is designed in part to enable the measurement and comparison of innovativeness across a variety of activities, disciplines, and contexts. Two companion articles apply and test this theory.
This paper is one of three published in series, following a hypothetical deductive approach. This first article lays a theoretical foundation. The second article, “Evaluating Mindset as a Means of Measuring Innovativeness,” explains the creation of an evaluation instrument that applies this theory. A third article, “Innovativeness as a Predictor of Entrepreneurial Value Creation,” uses that instrument to test the theory’s predictive capabilities.
Stauffer, D.A. (2015), "Valuable Novelty: A Proposed General Theory of Innovation and Innovativeness", International Journal of Innovation Science, Vol. 7 No. 3, pp. 169-182. https://doi.org/10.1260/1757-218.104.22.168
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