Economic Sociology of Innovation


The workshop will proceed from 3 to 4 December 2021 at Goethe University Frankfurt in Frankfurt am Main, Germany.

Click here for the full Call for Papers.

The workshop addresses the need for economic sociology to further understand innovation as a key component of capitalist market economies. Until now, it has much more predominantly investigated the social structures of firms, industries and markets by means of investigating their social logics, moral orders and institutional embeddedness. Further advances of the economic sociology of innovation require focused explorations into the social conditions and constellations of technological innovation in the context of capitalist market economies. Crucially, technological innovation implies the introduction of novelty in society, and this process drives most of the phenomena of instability, insecurity and uncertainty that characterize modern capitalism. Manifestations of novelty may differ by their degrees of newness with an immediate impact on variations in predictability, calculability, and governability. Yet the corresponding impulse for economic and social disruptions, despite variations in intensity, distinguishes technological innovation from merely adaptive technological change. In line with this assessment, it is fair to suggest that the economic sociology of innovation is predominantly concerned with the socially embedded economic action of individuals and collectives in firms, industries, markets and territorial innovation systems, which is meant to generate, introduce and diffuse technological innovation in an established socio-economic setting. In view of this, it may be argued that a distinct economic sociology of innovation aims at exploring the motives and modes of novelty-generating and -diffusing economic action in the context of tensions between diverse market and non-market types of moral orders, which may arise in diverse institutional environments. The workshop organizers invite researchers from all strands of economic sociology and other fields of the social sciences to investigate the above and related issues of the economic sociology of innovation.

Submissions (500 words) are open until 16 April 2021.