Understanding the process of innovation through the theories of learning and communication
Pinto, Frederick N. L.
Master of Science
DisciplineForestry and the Forest Environment
MetadataShow full item record
Literature on learning, communication, psychology, sociology and related disciplines was reviewed. It was found that innovation is often incorrectly described in the literature as two separate processes. These are the processes of learning and communications, involved in invention and the spread of the invention, respectively. Research on learning and everyday life experiences show that learning and communications are closely interrelated. Invention involves learning and communication, and the spread of inventions also involves both processes. This information was used to develop a conceptual model of the process of innovation. The process of innovation involves collaboration and learning by individuals within a social system, such as a work centre. The conceptual model, called the collaborative learning model, was used to describe the factors that influence innovation. Three major factors influence innovation. These factors are: 1) factors internal to the individual such as motivation, and learning experience and skill, 2) cultural factors such as the development of socially acceptable behaviour, and 3) factors related to the use of technology. Examples from natural resource management are used to describe the collaborative learning model and factors that affect innovation. Innovation, while often desirable, may not occur, and at other times may result in unforseen negative consequences. The complexity of ± e process often makes innovation difficult to plan or carry out The collaborative learning model and literature suggest that unforseen negative consequences are part of the innovation process. Unforseen negative consequences may occur due to the interdependences amoung technological, social, and environmental systems. Changes in one, usually the technological system, may result in unforseen changes in the social or environmental systems. The only way to reduce negative consequences of innovation is to continue innovating.