Document Type: Research Paper
Assistant Professor of Management Faculty of Management, Science and Technology, Amirkabir University of Technology , Tehran
Product innovation success has very much to do with the development of models or
metaphors that are able to guide actors. One can observe two traditions in this
regard: rational and non-rational models. Apparently in the former the model, such
as “development funnel”, is regarded as a mechanism and rigid applicable, picturing
innovation as an orderly, goal-oriented, value-neutral, and systematic process. The
latter account offers a few non-rational models that depict product innovation as
chaotic, messy, and stressful which involves jagged lines of activity, much like
“fireworks”. This paper draws on the work of Donald Schön to develop a more
socio-politically informed yet pragmatic approach to innovation in organisation i.e.
‘ribbed water balloon’. This model outlines product innovation as a non-rational and
socio-technical practice, one that not only reveals politics, uncertainty, unsteadiness,
setbacks, and reversals with which actors grapple but also considers rituals, norms
and organization’s behavioral world in its understanding.