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Creativity on DemandThe Dilemmas of Innovation in an Accelerated Age$
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Eitan Y. Wilf

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780226606835

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: September 2019

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226607023.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM CHICAGO SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.chicago.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of Chicago Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CHSO for personal use.date: 04 July 2022

The Ubiquity and Ambiguity of Routinized Business Innovation

The Ubiquity and Ambiguity of Routinized Business Innovation

(p.1) Introduction The Ubiquity and Ambiguity of Routinized Business Innovation
Creativity on Demand

Eitan Y. Wilf

University of Chicago Press

This chapter introduces the main question the book addresses, namely how to explain the rise in innovation’s popularity together with the mounting suspicion that innovation has become a catch-all phrase that is devoid of meaning. It situates the rise of business innovation in the context of post-Fordist flexible accumulation and argues that the study of business innovation provides an opportunity to contribute to critical studies of capitalism as a future-producing and future-oriented social configuration with respect to three main concerns in such studies: commodity fetishism, “unmet” consumer needs, and the production of the future. The chapter’s first half presents the book’s main argument, the ethnographic setting and fieldwork, and the outline of chapters. Its second half provides a detailed analysis of one historical context that explains the emergence of business innovation as a key dimension of the contemporary business world. It argues that throughout the twentieth century organizational and management theorists gradually began to conceptualize organizations as entities whose logic encompasses uncertainty as a natural component that provides a crucial resource for their survival, and that a number of organizational theorists consequently turned to the creative arts in general, and jazz music in particular, in search for adequate organizational models.

Keywords:   innovation, post-Fordism, commodity fetishism, consumer needs, organization studies, uncertainty, creative arts, jazz music, capitalism

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