Recent reading has taken me on some divergent paths. Search-engine ‘innovation’ and some interesting things turn up. Anything from the theory of the firm to whether we can measure creativity – a subject that the TES is currently debating. All of this is relevant to a study of how students can contribute to producing new products or ways of working. Recently, another round of soul-searching in the UK considered our record on productivity. No-one can quite decide, it seems, on what makes up the productivity equation, although skills is always somewhere there in the mix. Many years ago, doing my MEd, I was looking at a Labour government initiative to get SMEs involved in training. My research, a questionnaire sent out widely with a very small return rate, demonstrated how as one commentator said, that training was a ‘fourth-order’ issue in most firms. It seems not much has changed – reading William Lazonick’s critique of companies unwilling to take the innovation risk and choosing instead to prioritise maximising shareholder value (MSV), and Mariana Mazzucato’s insightful analysis of how firms rely on public goods to help produce products they later use to dominate the market.
This research topic is so wide, I never know what I’ll end up reading next.
Original Author: Nick Youngson – link to – http://nyphotographic.com/
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