|How institutional logics hamper innovation: The case of animal testing
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|چگونه منطق نهادی مانع نوآوری می شود: مورد آزمایش حیوانات
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|پیش بینی فنی و تغییر اجتماعی – Technological Forecasting & Social Change
|مطالعات نوآوری، موسسه Copernicus، دانشگاه اوترخت، هلند
|منطق سازمانی، سیستم نوآوری تکنولوژیکی، مطالعات حیوانی، اریتروپویتین
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Radical innovations are necessary to tackle the grand societal challenges society is currently facing. The transformation of socio-technical systems, including technical, organizational, economic, institutional, social-cultural and political changes, due to the introduction and diffusion of radical innovation are referred to as sociotechnical transitions (Van den Bergh et al., 2011). The research field of transition studies tries to understand the mechanisms that underlie these complex change processes (Markard et al., 2012). This resulted in frameworks to study the dynamics of transition processes as the Multi-Level Perspective (MLP) and the Technological Innovation System (TIS) approach. Both frameworks recognize that new technologies are key to realize societal transitions and that transitions do not easily occur because new technologies are often poorly aligned with established practices (Kemp et al., 1998; Geels, 2002; Hekkert et al., 2007). Nevertheless, novelty is at the center of attention in most transition studies. For example, the TIS approach focuses on emerging technologies and the development of the innovation system supporting the emerging technology (Negro et al., 2008; Suurs and Hekkert, 2009; Van Alphen et al., 2010). This approach regards the success of innovations mainly as a consequence of the performance of the innovation system and the capability of innovation system actors to impact dominant socio-institutional structures. It does not conceptualize explicitly the broader context outside the TIS such as established practices (Markard and Truffer, 2008). The importance of a better understanding of the TIS context is stressed in a recent article by Bergek et al. (2015). Contrary to the TIS framework, the MLP framework does take the established practice and underlying rules into account. For this, the regime concept is used. The regime, however, is often analyzed only as a barrier to be overcome or as creating windows of opportunity and not as a dynamic context continuously influencing the innovation process (Geels, 2005; Elzen et al., 2011; Yuan et al., 2012).
In the transition literature there is strong recognition that the success of emerging technologies depends as much on the development of the emerging technology as on changing technical regimes (Kemp et al., 1998; Turnheim and Geels, 2012). Nevertheless, the transition literature pays little attention to understanding how the persistence of established practices and underlying rules can impact the creation of novelty. In MLP terms: far less notice is taken of processes that stabilize the technical regime (Turnheim and Geels, 2012). This paper contributes to this gap by focusing on how established practices persist and in- fluence the innovation process of emerging technologies.
This paper focuses on the persistency of established technologies by taking an institutional theory perspective. This is in line with Fuenfschilling and Truffer (2014) who operationalized socio-technical regimes by making use of the institutional logics theory. The term institution refers to rules. Not just rules in the form of a set of commands and requirements, but also rules in the sense of roles and practices that are being established and that are not easily dissolved (Kemp et al., 1998). Following institutional theory stability and change can be understood in terms of institutional logics. Institutional logics refer to ‘the belief systems and related practices that predominate in an organizational field’ (Scott, 2001, p 139). They provide the organizing principles of a field (Friedland and Alford, 1991). A poor fit of emerging technologies with the prevailing institutional logic hampers successful diffusion, because it creates economic, technological, cognitive and social barriers for new technologies (Kemp et al., 1998). Change in the institutional logic is then essential for innovation to become successful (Reay and Hinings, 2009). The reason for deploying the TIS approach in this study is that it is praised for its powerful analysis of the conditions that enable and hamper emerging technological innovation processes (Markard and Truffer, 2008). The aim of this paper is twofold. First, we aim to increase understanding about how established practices persist, often labeled as lock-in, while pressured by novelty and how they influence the innovation process of emerging technologies. We already know that several types of feedback loops reinforce lock-in processes as explained by Unruh (2000) who proposed the concept of Techno-Institutional Complex (TIC). While Unruh (2000) highlights the interaction between technological systems and institutional systems, he underconceptualized the institutional dimension in lock-in processes. In this study we aim to enrich insight in the institutional dimension of lockin. Second, we aim to conceptually improve the TIS perspective by combining the TIS approach to analyze the innovation process of emerging technologies with an analysis of the institutional logic related to established practices. Third, applying a framework that stems from institutional theory may be worthwhile for the broader field of innovation studies. The evolutionary perspective on innovation highlights the importance of institutions through the use of concepts like technological paradigms and technological trajectories (Dosi, 1982). Using institutional theory as we propose in this paper may create a more detailed insight in what institutional mechanisms create technological paradigms and trajectories.