Innovation by Demand
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Innovation by Demand

By Andrew McMeekin
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Book Description

The structure and regulation of consumption and demand has recently become of great interest to sociologists and economists alike, and at the same time there is growing interest in trying to understand the patterns and drivers of technological innovation. This book brings together a range of sociologists and economists to study the role of demand and consumption in the innovative process. The book starts with a broad conceptual overview of ways that the sociological and economics literatures address issues of innovation, demand and consumption. It goes on to offer different approaches to the economics of demand and innovation through an evolutionary framework, before reviewing how consumption fits into evolutionary models of economic development. Food consumption is then looked at as an example of innovation by demand, including an examination of the dynamic nature of socially-constituted consumption routines. The book includes a number of illuminating case studies, including an analysis of how black Americans use consumption to express collective identity, and a number of demand-innovation relationships within matrices or chains of producers and users or other actors, including service industries such as security, and the environmental performance of companies. The involvement of consumers in innovation is looked at, including an analysis of how consumer needs may be incorporated in the design of high-tech products. The final chapter argues for the need to build an economic sociology of demand that goes from micro-individual through to macro-structural features.

Table of Contents
  • Contents
  • Figures and tables
  • Series foreword
  • Contributors
  • 1 Innovation by demand? An introduction - Andrew McMeekin, Ken Green, Mark Tomlinson and Vivien Walsh
  • 2 Social mechanisms generating demand: a review and manifesto - Alan Warde
  • 3 There’s more to the economics of consumption than (almost) unconstrained utility maximisation - G. M. Peter Swann
  • 4 Variety, growth and demand - Pier Paolo Saviotti
  • 5 Preferences and novelty: a multidisciplinary perspective - Wilhelm Ruprecht
  • 6 Social routines and the consumption of food - Mark Tomlinson and Andrew McMeekin
  • 7 Social categorisation and group identification: how African-Americans shape their collective identity through consumption - Virág Molnár and Michèle Lamont
  • 8 Hyperembedded demand and uneven innovation: female labour in a male-dominated service industry - Bonnie H. Erickson
  • 9 Greening organisations: purchasing, consumption and innovation - Ken Green, Barbara Morton and Steve New
  • 10 Information and communication technologies and the role of consumers in innovation - Leslie Haddon
  • 11 The incorporation of user needs in telecom product design - Vivien Walsh, Carole Cohen and Albert Richards
  • 12 Markets, supermarkets and the macro-social shaping of demand: an instituted economic process approach - Mark Harvey
  • Index
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