Free Access
Volume 13, Number 1, 1999
Page(s) 41 - 58
DOI: 10.1051/ejess:1999102

European Journal of Economic and Social Systems 13 N$^\circ$ 1 (1999) pp. 41-58

Methods for studying innovation processes: Towards a complementarity between organizational and cognitive perspectives

Valérie Chanal

Université de Savoie, BP 1104, 73011 Chambéry Cedex, France;


This paper describes two methods designed to study and diagnose innovation processes. The first one adopts a systems perspective and focuses on information flows and decision-making during a project, whereas the second one privileges a cognitive approach and is aimed at highlighting actors' representations of innovation processes and new products. A comparison of the research results obtained in different industrial firms using these two methods introduces a discussion of the complementarity of both perspectives. These obser-vations lead to an assessment of the collective learning mechanisms initiated during the field studies.

Keywords: Innovation management, methodology, system theory, cognitive representations, organizational learning.

Copyright EDP Sciences