Cover of The Challenge of Remaining Innovative by Edited by Sally H. Clarke, Naomi R. Lamoreaux, and Steven W. Usselman
The Challenge of Remaining Innovative
Insights from Twentieth-Century American Business
Edited by Sally H. Clarke, Naomi R. Lamoreaux, and Steven W. Usselman


368 pages.

Hardcover ISBN: 9780804758925


Excerpts and More

The Challenge of Remaining Innovative explores innovation as a complex phenomenon that may be organizational as well as technological, that operates both within firms and across the broader economy, and that involves matters not only of research and development, but also of marketing, design, and government relations. The contributors explore two main themes: the challenge of remaining innovative and the necessity of managing institutional boundaries in doing so.

The collection is organized into four parts, which move outward from individual firms; to networks or clusters of firms; to consultants and other intermediaries in the private economy who operate outside of the firms themselves; and finally to government institutions and politics. This scheme delineates a variety of ways in which entrepreneurship has persisted across the 20th century—and accentuates how ongoing organizational re-arrangement has contributed mightily to its sustained vitality.

About the authors

Steven Usselman is Associate Professor in the School of History, Technology, and Society at Georgia Tech. Naomi Lamoreaux is Professor and Vice Chair for Academic Personnel in the Department of History at UCLA. Sally Clarke is Associate Professor of History at the University of Texas at Austin.

"These essays collectively allow the reader to walk a mile in the shoes of corporate managers faced with the difficult task of generating and sustaining innovation. As the authors vividly demonstrate, managers simultaneously built in-house R&D labs, forged external relationships, and monitored regulatory developments in order to 'reduce the uncertainty inherent in innovation and transform it into a manageable risk."

—Eric S. Hintz, Technology & Culture

"This collection of excellent studies offers a range of insights on contribution factors...The general introduction and those to each part by the editors Clark, Lamoreaux, and Usselman provide informative context and cohesiveness to this very worthwhile volume."


"Written for economists and business executives, these articles focus on research, design and marketing concepts that must be managed by companies, networks of companies, intermediates in private industries and government institutions. Case studies on innovation in companies such as IBM, Bell Labs and Honda are also presented."Book News

"The Challenge of Remaining Innovative is full of excellent papers by world-class scholars. This book makes a major contribution to thinking about innovation, among business and economic historians, and among contemporary scholars of innovation and economics."

—JoAnne Yates, Author of Control through Communication: The Rise of System in American Management and Structuring the Information Age: Life Insurance and Information Technology in the 20th Century

"The Challenge of Remaining Innovative charts the rise of research laboratory as the engine of innovation in the 20th century. Clarke, Lamoreaux, and Usselman provide new insight into this game changing institutional innovation, and their work challenges all of us to imagine the new ways of organizing and commercializing innovation that will power economic development in the 21st century."

—Richard Florida, Author of The Rise of the Creative Class and Director of the Martin Prosperity Institute at the University of Toronto's Rotman School of Management

"In The Challenge of Remaining Innovative, a stellar group of authors asks anew the Schumpeterian questions of innovation, the corporation, and the state. The result is a sophisticated and nuanced volume that will find itself at the center of future scholarship in this area."

—Richard N. Langlois, Professor of Economics, The University of Connecticut