Three arguments against ‘soft innovation’: towards a richer understanding of cultural innovation

Eltham, Ben 2013, Three arguments against ‘soft innovation’: towards a richer understanding of cultural innovation, International journal of cultural policy, vol. 19, no. 5, pp. 537-556, doi: 10.1080/10286632.2012.658044.

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Title Three arguments against ‘soft innovation’: towards a richer understanding of cultural innovation
Author(s) Eltham, BenORCID iD for Eltham, Ben
Journal name International journal of cultural policy
Volume number 19
Issue number 5
Start page 537
End page 556
Total pages 20
Publisher Routledge Taylor & Francis Group
Place of publication Abingdon, England
Publication date 2013
ISSN 1028-6632
Keyword(s) soft innovation
cultural innovation
innovation policy
cultural industries
creative industries
cultural economics
Summary This paper critiques recent research on innovation in the cultural and creative industries. In particular, this paper examines Paul Stoneman’s idea of ‘soft innovation’ as a jumping off point for discussing theories of cultural innovation more broadly. Three critiques are advanced. Firstly, soft innovation is a theoretical perspective that has developed from neoclassical economics, and is therefore vulnerable to criticisms levelled at neoclassical explanations of economic behaviour. Secondly, the theory of soft innovation can be criticised for being contin- gently inaccurate: the observed reality of cultural industries and marketplaces may not reflect the theory’s premises. Thirdly, because soft innovation defines the significance of an innovation in terms of marketplace success, it implies that only high-selling cultural products are significant, a difficult claim to substantiate. This paper concludes by arguing that our understanding of innovation in the cultural sphere can benefit from a multi-disciplinary approach grounded in the full gamut of human creativity.
Language eng
DOI 10.1080/10286632.2012.658044
Field of Research 160808 Sociology and Social Studies of Science and Technology
160502 Arts and Cultural Policy
Socio Economic Objective 910406 Technological and Organisational Innovation
HERDC Research category C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
ERA Research output type C Journal article
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Document type: Journal Article
Collection: Centre for Memory, Imagination and Invention
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Created: Mon, 01 Jul 2013, 15:52:18 EST by Ben Eltham

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