Responsible innovation : its institutionalisation and a critique

Genus, Audley and Iskandarova, Marfuga (2018) Responsible innovation : its institutionalisation and a critique. Technological Forecasting and Social Change, 128, pp. 1-9. ISSN (print) 0040-1625


There is a growing body of literature on responsible innovation (RI). RI is prominent in debates and policies regarding the governance of research and innovation, particularly in the EU and USA. The paper brings together sociologically-informed institutional analysis and critical discourse analysis into a discourse-institutional perspective, which is applied to review the emergence of and scholarly contributions to literature on RI. It generates insights into the role of language use in the institutionalisation of RI from detailed analysis of a foundational text. The paper identifies evidence for the institutionalisation of RI, how this has been accomplished and by whom. The paper considers opportunities for and limitations of RI research and policy in connection with its potential to foster effective anticipatory governance of science and innovation while facilitating inclusive deliberation in society. The conclusion suggests that RI is a developing area of research and practice in which there are dominant perspectives, practices and actors, which combine to inhibit the building of a truly responsive, inclusive and reflexive approach to governing innovation.

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