Siden ett og annet skriveri i Klassekampen og Dagbladet har sagt atskillig pussig om tenkning, teknologi og vitenskap i middelalderen, kan det være greit å minne om en fagartikkel jeg skrev for et temanummer av Telektronikk om innovasjonsledelse (alle artiklene i 2/2004 er lagt ut her).Beyond the Protestand Work Ethic med undertittelen - Why some cultures innovate - learning from history.
(Les videre her)
(Les videre her)
For å svare på dette var det altså nødvendig å rydde unna noen myter og presentere litt andre perspektiver fra forskning på teknologihistorien enn hva mange forventer.
Ikke uventet antyder abstraktet innholdet:
In many circles Max Weber (1864–1920) still holds the dominant paradigm on cultural drivers for Capitalism and the Industrial Revolution in the 18th century. He argued that there was a strong connection between Protestantism and Capitalism in the West. Newer studies, however, indicate that Weber did not take a sufficiently long and global view on the forces involved. To understand the cultural drivers for innovation, attention should be given to the “cultural mutation” in early Medieval Europe, which led to an industrial revolution also in the 12th century, as well as to consider the global context, or the “world system”.
Concepts like Progress (the belief that there is a better secular future ahead of us), and discoveries such as the one that inventions may become productive innovations, that technology should be used for the common good, and that labour is valuable, led to the acceleration of innovation that characterise the modern world. As we will discover, it is difficult to understand how these concepts could become ingrained in any culture, without also considering which mental model was conducive to creating and sustaining a culture of innovation and industry.
Today it is mandatory not to lose contact with the deeper roots that led to innovation, while at the same time strive for an even better understanding of what really constitutes progress and “the good life”. From this one may take some relevant and applicable learning for today’s companies.
De seneste ukenes avisskriverier viser i hvert fall at det ikke er vanskelig å finne verre.