UC Davis Professor Gives Advice On Sustainable Technology

UC Davis campus - where a lecture on sustainable technology is taking place

A UC Davis Graduate School of Management (UC Davis GSM) professor gave a recent interview in which he discussed his ideas on the nature of breakthroughs, the state of innovation, and the future of sustainable technology.

Professor Andrew Hargadon teaches Technology Management at UC Davis GSM, and he also serves as the Charles J. Soderquist Chair of Entrepreneurship. He is the founding director of the Child Family Institute for Innovation and Entrepreneurship, as well as the Energy Efficiency Center.

In the interview with Bob Morris of the First Friday Book Synopsis, Hargadon discussed his use of the term “innovation factory.” He said, “No single innovation can be manufactured — meaning specified in advance and built to spec — but the process of innovation can, like the process of manufacturing, be systematized and, as a number of companies have demonstrated, result in the continuous production of innovations. The challenge for anyone interested in organizing for such continuous innovation capabilities is in looking past the ‘novelty’ of the innovation process and its association with great ideas and heroic inventors.”

Hargadon went on to discuss his theory of “knowledge brokering”, which, he theorizes, is the process behind breakthroughs within organizations. The development of revolutionary products, designs, or even entire industries rarely happens from scratch. He asserts, “Breakthroughs are the result of moving existing ideas from where they were known to where they are not… From Edison to Ford to modern innovations coming from 3M, HP, and Apple, revolutionary products and processes come from the recombination of existing ideas.”

Professor Hargadon is the author of the recent books Sustainable Innovation: Build Your Company’s Capacity to Change the World and How Breakthroughs Happen: The Surprising Truth About How Companies Innovate.


About the Author

Maggie Boccella

Maggie Boccella, a lifelong resident of Philadelphia, is a freelance writer, artist and photographer. She has consulted on various film and multimedia projects, and she also serves as a juror for the city's annual LGBTQIA Film Festival.

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