Prometheus: Vol 36, No 2 (2020)

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Editorial
Herewith the second issue of Prometheus in its new colours. Our first issue with Pluto Journals (March 2020) coincided with the onslaught of Covid-19 and all the horrors this has brought. One would have thought that an academic journal would be reasonably insulated from such dislocation with just about everyone accustomed to working from home. But the supply line is long and winding and there are often no alternative paths. Problems are everywhere. Kush Westwood, our production editor, succumbed to the virus and has soldiered on regardless. We wish her a complete recovery from a particularly foul disease. page: 93 - 94 Prometheus: Critical Studies in Innovation Volume 36, Issue 2 SKU: 360201
Paper
By Silas Mvulirwenande and Uta Wehn Perceived positive impacts of frugal innovation for sustainable global development have triggered a variety of programmes to foster such innovation. To increase the impact of these programmes, it is important to understand how they function. In this paper, we develop a conceptual framework for the analysis of interventions that foster frugal innovations through incubation. Drawing on relevant theories and concepts in the field of innovation and related literature, the framework is based on two major categories of factors influencing the nature and outcome of frugal innovation incubation. The first category relates to the incubation process, the second to the innovation environment. The proposed framework is applied to the case study of VIA Water, a Dutch programme to foster water innovation in African cities. The framework and the case study presented in this paper demonstrate the complexity of a frugal innovation incubation process and thus the need to take a holistic approach when designing and/or analysing related interventions. We conclude that frugal innovation incubation programmes should consider that the innovation capabilities of potential frugal innovators tend to be weaker in developing than in developed countries. Therefore, incubation programmes should devise strategies that present frugal innovators possessing local knowledge and creative ideas with a realistic chance of competing. page: 95 – 115 Prometheus: Critical Studies in Innovation Volume 36, Issue 2 SKU: 360202
Paper
By Michal Tal-Socher and Adrian Ziderman Digital sharing of research data is becoming an important research integrity norm. Data sharing is promoted in different avenues, one being the scholarly publication process: journals serve as gatekeepers, recommending or mandating data sharing as a condition for publication. While there is now a sizeable corpus of research assessing the pervasiveness and efficacy of journal data sharing policies in various disciplines, available research is largely piecemeal and mitigates against meaningful comparisons across disciplines. A major contribution of the present research is that it makes direct across-discipline comparisons employing a common methodology. The paper opens with a discussion of the arguments aired in favour and against data sharing (with an emphasis on ethical issues, which stand behind these policies). The websites of 150 journals, drawn from 15 disciplines, were examined for information on data sharing. The results consolidate the notion of the primacy of biomedical sciences in the implementation of data sharing norms and the lagging implementation in the arts and humanities. More surprisingly, they attest to similar levels of norms adoption in the physical and social sciences. The results point to the overlooked status of the formal sciences, which demonstrate low levels of data sharing implementation. The study also examines the policies of the major journal publishers. The paper concludes with a presentation of the current preferences for different data sharing solutions in different fields, in specialized repositories, general repositories, or publishers’ hosting area. page: 116 - 134 Prometheus: Critical Studies in Innovation Volume 36, Issue 2 SKU: 360203
Paper
By Ryo Okuyama and Masaharu Tsujimoto The productivity of new drug discovery has not changed for decades, although the information on physiological functions and molecules, which are the sources for new drug discovery, has markedly increased. Furthermore, technologies for lead compound acquisition and compound optimization for creating drug candidates have greatly progressed. One possible reason for this low productivity is that it is still difficult for drug discovery researchers to correctly evaluate and select physiological mechanisms that could be drug targets. Nevertheless, there are very few studies on drug target selection capability, specifically on researchers’ capability to determine whether modulating the function of a newly discovered physiological mechanism would be a suitable therapeutic option for a certain disease. How is this capability developed? In this study, we propose that the longterm experience of researchers in investigating disease causes and existing drug action mechanisms contributes to enhancing their insights into druggable physiological mechanisms, based on the comparative analysis of cases that were focused on the same physiological mechanism, where one was successfully developed as an innovative new drug while the other failed. We also discuss managerial practices to strengthen capability. page: 135 - 152 Prometheus: Critical Studies in Innovation Volume 36, Issue 2 SKU: 360204
Paper
By Kjetil Hatlebakk Hove Does a shift from hard to soft funding have an impact on research outcomes? Existing literature suggests that moving from hard money, such as lump-sum government-funded research, to commissioned research entails a greater risk of the researchers being influenced by the principal (the funding body). Based on literature and an empirical study, we identify two types of researcher roles: the influential consultant and the technical realist. The first type studies more advanced, important, and diffuse topics on behalf of principals high up in the hierarchy. They have a much greater experience of the issues discussed in this paper than the technical consultants. During the course of this study, we also discovered that the balance of power is not necessarily as one-sided as theory suggests: researchers can wield significant influence over the principals as well. page: 153 - 172 Prometheus: Critical Studies in Innovation Volume 36, Issue 2 SKU: 360205
Paper
By Eric Dahlin The paper draws on insights from relational sociology to develop a relational view of organizational innovation which suggests that feedback between stages of innovation may occur regardless of whether they precede one another, and activities at different stages may have reciprocal effects. Regression models based on a sample of 113 large biopharmaceutical firms demonstrate that firms with products in alternative stages of innovation are associated with having products in the focal stage. The key findings from the regression analysis are that product development generates positive feedback for product implementation and vice versa, and engaging in activities at multiple, alternative stages simultaneously generates benefits at the focal stage. The reciprocity between stages provides compelling evidence for the importance of viewing innovation through the lens of relational theory. Interviews with industry informants illustrate the fluidity that exists between innovation stages and the importance of fostering social interactions and communication between organizational members involved in innovation for fostering success across stages. page: 173 - 197 Prometheus: Critical Studies in Innovation Volume 36, Issue 2 SKU: 360206
Review Essay
By Robert J. Holton The uncertainties and complexities of the contemporary world are immense. The Covid-19 pandemic has arisen in a context where climate change, global inequalities, political paralysis, failures of collective agency, and worsening mental health already pose intractable social challenges. So, is there a way forward promising better understanding and a practical route beyond this concatenation of crises and disorders? In The Age of Disruption (written before the pandemic), Bernard Stiegler, the prolific French philosopher, argues that there is, but not in any unequivocal or naively optimistic way. page: 198 - 202 Prometheus: Critical Studies in Innovation Volume 36, Issue 2 SKU: 360207
Book Review
By Serap Uğur The most influential factor in accepting the request to review this book was its title. The book argues that it is necessary to set technology and education in their social, economic, and cultural contexts. In the ‘digital era’, criticism of technology is intriguing. This book, which discusses the digital technologies that have become fundamental components of learning in terms of the concept of education, also examines the necessity of the technology. Since many digital  environments, such as many web technologies, virtual classrooms, and mobile technologies are widely used in formal education, it is possible to assume that the digital era is located at the very heart of education. In many countries, government policies also support digitalization and technology research in education. The author aims to provide answers by analysing the question from another perspective. page: 203 - 204 Prometheus: Critical Studies in Innovation Volume 36, Issue 2 SKU: 360208
Book Review
By Adrian Healy Since the financial crash of 2007/08, there has been a burgeoning interest amongst academics and policy makers alike in why some economies prove to be more resilient to shocks and crises than others. This has led to a rapidly expanding literature exploring both the concept of economic resilience (see Martin and Sunley, 2016) as well as reporting the findings of various studies seeking to identify what factors confer greater levels of resilience to particular shocks. page: 205 - 206 Prometheus: Critical Studies in Innovation Volume 36, Issue 2 SKU: 360209
Book Review
By Simon Dalby This volume is an impressive synthetic text, pulling together the work of a couple of decades to sort out what is going on under the rubric of ‘global governance’. Its sources cover the gamut of international relations thinking about institutions, international organizations, states, and how they have all worked to change governance over the last few decades. The story is far from simple, and much of this book is an attempt to parse out some clear findings from the confusion of empirical studies and theoretical approaches that dominate the vast literature on international governance, international regimes, law, and organization. This book is definitely not one for the theoretically faint-hearted. page: 207 - 208 Prometheus: Critical Studies in Innovation Volume 36, Issue 2 SKU: 360210