Significance of Innovation Research

Is managing innovation possible? This question appears to be simple, but arguments both for and against have yet to be settled, making this both an old and a new problem.

The path for an enterprise to trigger innovation ranges from mere “coincidence” and “luck” to “intended luck,” or serendipity. By definition, human-beings cannot manage “luck.” However, it is also known that the probability of “luck” occurring rises if new ideas of one type are put into practice in an organized manner within a cooperative network.

Innovation research conducted by Schumpeter, Drucker, Von Hippel, Christensen and other researchers in Europe and North America has analyzed the relationship between innovation and enterprise organizations. These researchers have proposed definitions for the concept of creative destruction and new combination, systematization of innovation process, induced innovation created by customers, sustainable innovation, and destructive innovation are the propositions proposed by these researchers.

The attempt to theoretically illuminate the realities of the Japanese economy and to extract a new theory from these realities through a fastidious field survey is the responsibility of social scientists working in Japan. Many research themes related to innovation have already been proposed by researchers inside and outside of Japan. Some examples of these themes are:


  1. Roles of industry-academia-government collaboration in innovation.
  2. Business administration strategies to form international bonds.
  3. Development of new products and new manufacturing processes.
  4. Response to personal demand in the service industry and standardization of service quality.
  5. Evolution in large-scale organization and modularization in the design and development process.


Theories of innovation and the study of its history, policy, and statistics are research domains that are indispensable in understanding the mechanics and the drive of socio-economic development. It is expected that creative solutions for new research themes will be sought by combining a wide range of administrative wisdom including economics, social sciences, psychology and engineering.