Article ID: CBB225986311

Creativity vs Commercialization: Russian Engineers, Their Inspiration and Innovation Process (2022)


Bychkova, Olga (Author)

Engineering Studies
Volume: 14
Issue: 1
Pages: 34-55

Publication Date: 2022
Edition Details: Special section: Russian engineering
Language: English

Many Russians believe that local engineers are very creative. Historically, however, the numerous inventions created by Russian innovators have rarely ended up as commercialized products. Are Russian engineers indeed creative in comparison to their foreign colleagues? What motivations are associated with this creativity? Is such a shared conception of creativity a barrier to the nation’s development of innovations? I propose to answer these questions using interviews with Russian technopreneurs. For comparison with the Russian case, I will use another set of interviews with technopreneurs collected in three countries—South Korea, Taiwan and Finland—each of which can be characterized by different cultural contexts and level of technological development. I summarize the main findings of a collective research project, which employs Luc Boltanski and Laurent Thévenot’s idea of ‘economies of worth.’ The study demonstrates that the basic mixes of ‘orders of worth’ are varied across the selected countries. In Russia, this mix includes the industrial, the inspired and the market orders; in Taiwan, the market, the industrial and the domestic; in South Korea, the industrial, the domestic and the market; and in Finland, the project-base, the industrial and the market. Focusing on detailed analysis of the worlds of justification among Russian technopreneurs, the article argues that, contrary to the Finnish, South Korean, and Taiwanese cases, creativity and inspiration, together with values of producing technologies for their own sake, are prevailing motivations for Russian engineers. That can explain obstacles in the way of successful commercialization and technological development in the country.

Associated with

Article Nikolay Rudenko; Irina Antoshchuk; Roman Maliushkin; Liliia Zemnukhova (2022) Gender Equality Paradise Revisited: The Dynamics of Gender Disbalance in Russian Engineering from the Late Soviet Time to the 2010s. Engineering Studies (pp. 56-78). unapi

Article Cyrus C. M. Mody (2022) Editorial. Engineering Studies (pp. 1-5). unapi

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Authors & Contributors
Mercelis, Joris
Guagnini, Anna
Tehya Stockman
Tom Heale
Chen, Houn-Gee
Kuo-Hui Chang
History and Technology
Engineering Studies
East Asian Science, Technology and Society: An International Journal
Research in the History of Technology
Comparative Technology Transfer and Society
Social Studies of Science
Science and technology studies (STS)
Entrepreneurs and entrepreneurship
Universities and colleges
Kim, Jin-Soo
Miethe, Adolf
Gilbert, Walter (1932- )
Vogel, Hermann Wilhelm
Loutzky, Boris
Time Periods
21st century
20th century
20th century, late
20th century, early
19th century
18th century
South Korea
Technische Hochschule Berlin Charlottenburg
Industrial Technology Research Institute- ITRI
Korea Institute of Science and Technology - KIST
Biogen, Inc.

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