Techno Therapy or Nurtured Niches? Technology Studies and the Evaluation of Radical Inovations

A.M. Hommels*, P.F. Peters, W.E. Bijker

*Corresponding author for this work

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This article contributes to recent discussions in technology studies about applying insights from technology studies to policy decisions about the development and management of technological innovations. It does so by examining two approaches that can be used by policy makers to manage radical technological innovations in mobility and transportation: strategic niche management (SNM) and the PROTEE approach. The SNM approach uses protective 'niches' to develop radical innovations, whereas the PROTEE method is grounded in the assumption that technological innovations have a better chance of success if made "vulnerable" by subjecting them to risks and oppositions from the outset. Both SNM and PROTEE have, so far, been applied to retrospective case studies. This paper examines their potential effectiveness in the monitoring of real time innovation projects by comparing their conceptualizations of 'learning' and 'experimenting'. It argues that the two approaches can draw upon each other to achieve a more refined conceptualization of learning and experimenting and in dealing with the problem of change and obduracy in the development of innovation projects.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1088-1099
JournalResearch Policy
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2007

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