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Title: Ideas and action : emergence of technical innovation and financial discourse
Author: Cox, Nicholas P. G.
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 1992
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This thesis investigates how people's ideas lead to technical innovations, and looks at the problems and setbacks along the way. The research uses data gathered from two major case-studies, several minor ones, and from a wide range of potential sources of finance for innovation. The majority of this data was obtained through free-format interviews with the people involved, although one of the major case-studies used personal letters to access an innovation at the turn of the century. This demonstrated the utility of 'historical' data for management research. The orientation is qualitative and interpretive, but the thesis demonstrates the utility of a rigorous and procedural approach to data and analysis in accomplishing its interpretation. Four distinct discourses, or world-views, emerge from the data, and a framework comprising these is proposed to aid understanding of innovation. This tentative model encompasses the agency and actions of individuals together with their social systems, and follows Giddens in seeing the former as recursively implicated in reproducing the latter. The model allows the progress of an innovation to be charted through the four discourses. The argument of the thesis is sensitive to recent anthropological and sociological uses of ideas drawn from Saussure's structural linguistics. French structuralist developments of these ideas, particularly those of Derrida, are used to investigate problems with the proposed fourdiscourse model of innovation. Derrida allows a more complete synthesis of structure and process than Giddens; his complex ideas thus enable a better explanation of the observation that people involved in innovation can apparently talk within all four discourses at once without excessive anxiety.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Psychology