This paper introduces a process perspective to innovation studies to answer the research question:What is innovation and how are different meanings ascribed to it in a healthcare setting? Drawing on fourethnographic case studies of projects in a public-funded innovation program in rehabilitation care inthe Netherlands, we challenge some well-known assumptions about innovation that have long inspiredtraditional understandings of innovation. The findings are based on data derived from observations andinterviews with managers, project leaders, and (para) medical professionals involved in the four innova-tion projects. The results indicate that (1) people often assign other meanings to innovation than mere‘novelty’; (2) that innovation usually entails extensive work that also constructs the value of an innova-tion; and (3) this has major implications for the management of innovation in organizational practice.This paper builds an argument for introducing an alternative ontological perspective on innovation basedupon the notion of ‘situated novelty’. In proposing the contextual perspective, we aim to extend currentunderstanding of innovation processes.

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Keywords Healthcare innovation, Innovation management, Process theories, Situated novelty
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Journal Research Policy
Janssen, M, Stoopendaal, A.M.V, & Putters, K. (2015). Situated novelty. Research Policy, 44, 1974–1984. doi:10.1016/j.respol.2015.06.008