Ludwik Fleck's Model of Collective Learning and Innovation -Theoretical Insights from an Early Studend of Knowledge Production
Last modified: February 28, 2009
This paper explores the work of Ludwik Fleck, an early student of collective learning and innovation, and its applicability for the analysis of industrial dynamics. The paper shows that, while Fleck has only received limited attention in the management literature, his concepts of thought styles and thought collectives are surprisingly modern to analyze some recent phenomena in the organization of innovation – the increasing relevance of innovation processes that cut across the boundaries of established industries, and community based modes of innovation. Against this background, Fleck’s model of collective learning and innovation is developed along four propositions. It is then shown how this model can help to tackle some unresolved challenges posed by the abovementioned phenomena.