Sociology of innovation: Social construction of technology perspective

Main Article Content

Sara Yousefikhah


This theoretical paper describes the effect of social action on technological artifacts and explores how innovation may flourish or be diminished in  society. Using the Social Construction of Technology (SCOT) perspective, three main elements namely, flexibility of interpretation, relevant social groups and technological frame are described and their impact on innovation is discussed. The paper proposes that in developing societies,  flexibility is hardly pressed by technological frames and concrete social norms do not allow the alternative designs and the useage of artifacts. This paper proposes that innovation might  flourish in a society if technological frame change, and entrepreneurship become technological frames that can change the fixed meaning of artifacts and create a path for alternative designs and interpretations.


Download data is not yet available.

Article Details

How to Cite
YOUSEFIKHAH, Sara. Sociology of innovation: Social construction of technology perspective. AD-minister, [S.l.], n. 30, p. 31-43, feb. 2017. ISSN 2256-4322. Available at: <>. Date accessed: 26 sep. 2017. doi:
Innovation; Sociology of Technology; Social Construction of Technology; Innovation policy; Entrepreneurship Promotion
Research Articles


Adolf, M., Mast, J. L., & Stehr, N. (2013). The foundations of innovation in modern societies: the displacement of concepts and knowledgeability. Mind & Society, 12(1), 11-22.

Baalen, P. V., van Fenema, P., & Loebbecke, C. (2016). Extending the Social Construction of Technology (SCOT) Framework to the Digital World.

Bartis, E. (2007). Two suggested extensions for SCOT: Technological frames and metaphors. Society and
Economy, 29(1), 123-138.

Bijker, W. E. (1995) Of bicycles, bakelites, and bulbs: Toward a theory of sociotechnical change. MIT press. Bijker, W. E.,

Hughes, T. P., Pinch, T., & Douglas, D. G. (1987). The social construction of technological systems: New directions in the sociology and history of technology. MIT press.

Brück, Joanna (2006). Fragmentation, Personhood and the Social Construction of Technology in Middle and
Late Bronze Age Britain. Cambridge Archaeological Journal, 16, pp 297-315

Burns, T. R., Machado, N., & Corte, U. (2015). The sociology of creativity: Part I: Theory: The social mechanisms of innovation and creative developments in selectivity environments. Human Systems Management, 34(3), 179-199.

Burns, T. R., Corte, U., & Machado, N. (2015). The sociology of creativity: PART II: Applications: The socio- cultural contexts and conditions of the production of novelty. Human Systems Management, 34(4),

Burns, T. R., Corte, U., & Machado, N. (2016). The sociology of creativity: PART III: Applications–The socio- cultural contexts of the acceptance/rejection of innovations. Human Systems Management, 35(1), 11-34.

Burr, V. (2015). Social constructionism. Routledge.

Dahlin, E. C. (2014). The Sociology of Innovation: Organizational, Environmental, and Relative Perspectives.
Sociology Compass, 8(6), 671-687.

Daniel, L. J., & Klein, J. A. (2014). Innovation agendas: the ambiguity of value creation. Prometheus, 32(1),

Douglas, Susan J. (1990). The social construction of technological systems: New directions in the sociology and history of technology. Isis 81 (306), 80–4.

Elle, M., Dammann, S., Lentsch, J., & Hansen, K. (2010). Learning from the social construction of environmental indicators: From the retrospective to the pro-active use of SCOT in technology development. Building and Environment, 45(1), 135-142.

Fuduric, N. (2008). The Sources of Entrepreneurial Opportunities: Perspectives on Individuals and Institutions.
Aalborg University Publication series 2008, 7.

Fulk, Janet (1993), Social Construction of Communication Technology, The Academy of Management Journal,
36 (5), 921-950.

Geels, F. W. (2004). From sectoral systems of innovation to socio-technical systems: Insights about dynamics and change from sociology and institutional theory. Research policy, 33(6), 897-920.

González, S., & Healey, P. (2005). A sociological institutionalist approach to the study of innovation in governance capacity. Urban Studies, 42(11), 2055-2069.

Hill, B. M. (2010). The sociology of innovation. MIT, viewed, 10, 10-14.

Humphreys, L. (2005). Reframing social groups, closure, and stabilization in the social construction of technology. Social epistemology, 19(2-3), 231-253.

Khajeheian, D. (2014), A Perspective on Media Entrepreneurship Policy: Globalization of Knowledge and
Opportunities for Developing Economies. Journal of Globalization Studies, 5(2), 174-187

Leonardi, P. M., & Barley, S. R. (2010). What’s under construction here? Social action, materiality, and power in constructivist studies of technology and organizing. Academy of Management Annals, 4(1), 1-51.

Lundvall, B. Å., Johnson, B., Andersen, E. S., & Dalum, B. (2002). National systems of production, innovation and competence building. Research policy, 31(2), 213-231.

Lundvall, B. Å. (2009). Scope, style, and theme of research on knowledge and learning societies. Journal of the Knowledge Economy, 1(1), 18-23.

MacKenzie, D., & Wajcman, J. (1999). The social shaping of technology. Open university press.

Ninan, A. S. (2008). Gandhi’s technoscience: sustainability and technology as themes of politics. Sustainable
Development, 17(3), 183-196.

Olsen, O.E, Engen, O.A. (2007), Technological change as a trade-off between social construction and technological paradigms, Technology in Society 29, 456–468

Olsen, J. K. B., Pedersen, S. A., & Hendricks, V. F. (2009). A Companion to the Philosophy of Technology. Wiley- Blackwell.

Orlikowski, W. J. (1992). The duality of technology: Rethinking the concept of technology in organizations.
Organization science, 3(3), 398-427.

Orlikowski, W. J., & Gash, D. C. (1994). Technological frames: making sense of information technology in organizations. ACM Transactions on Information Systems (TOIS), 12(2), 174-207.

Pinch, T. J., & Bijker, W. E. (1984). The social construction of facts and artefacts: Or how the sociology of science and the sociology of technology might benefit each other. Social studies of science, 14(3), 399-

Ramos, I., & Berry, D. M. (2005). Social construction of information technology supporting work. Cases on
Information Technology: Lessons Learned, Volume 7: Lessons Learned, 7(7), 36.

Rowland, W. (2005). Recognizing the role of the modern business corporation in the “social construction” of technology. Social epistemology, 19(2-3), 287-313.

Sharif, N. (2005). Contributions from the Sociology of Technology to the Study of Innovation Systems.
Knowledge, Technology & Policy, 17(3-4), 83-105.

Sillar, W., 1996. The dead and the drying: techniques for transforming people and things in the Andes. Journal of Material Culture 1, 259–89.

Schlesinger, P (2017). The creative economy: invention of a global orthodoxy, Innovation: The European Journal of Social Science Research, 30(1), 73-90.

Surry, D. W., & Baker, F. W. (2016). The co- dependent relationship of technology and communities. British
Journal of Educational Technology, 47(1), 13-28.

Utterback, J. M. (1997). Disruptive Technologies; Predator or Prey. In Academy of Management Meeting.