Staff Publications

Staff Publications

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    'Staff publications' is the digital repository of Wageningen University & Research

    'Staff publications' contains references to publications authored by Wageningen University staff from 1976 onward.

    Publications authored by the staff of the Research Institutes are available from 1995 onwards.

    Full text documents are added when available. The database is updated daily and currently holds about 240,000 items, of which 72,000 in open access.

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    We will mail you new results for this query: keywords==Responsible innovation
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Responsible Innovation for Life: Five Challenges Agriculture Offers for Responsible Innovation in Agriculture and Food, and the Necessity of an Ethics of Innovation
Gremmen, Bart ; Blok, Vincent ; Bovenkerk, Bernice - \ 2019
Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics 32 (2019)5-6. - ISSN 1187-7863 - p. 673 - 679.
Citizen inclusion - Drones - Ecological management - Gene editing - Responsible innovation

In this special issue we will investigate, from the perspective of agricultural ethics (e.g. animal welfare, agricultural and food ethics, environmental ethics etc.) the potential to develop a Responsible Research and Innovation (RRI) approach to agriculture, and the limitations to such an enterprise. RRI is an emerging field in the European research and innovation (R&I) policy context that aims to balance economic, socio-cultural and environmental aspects in innovation processes. Because technological innovations can contribute significantly to the solution of societal challenges like climate change or food security, but can also have negative societal consequences, it is assumed that social and ethical aspects should be considered during the R&I process. For this reason, the emerging concept of RRI calls for ethical reflection on the nature, scope and applicability of responsibility and innovation in innovation practices in general, and the way social–ethical issues can be applied and addressed in agriculture.

Strengthening the socio-ethical foundations of the circular economy: Lessons from responsible research and innovation
Inigo, Edurne A. ; Blok, Vincent - \ 2019
Journal of Cleaner Production 233 (2019). - ISSN 0959-6526 - p. 280 - 291.
Circular economy - Responsible innovation - Sustainable development

The circular economy (CE) framework has captured the attention of industry and academia and received strong policy support. It is currently deemed as a powerful solution for sustainability, despite ongoing criticism on its oversimplification and lack of consideration of socio-ethical issues. In parallel, the concept of RRI has emerged strongly with a strong focus on the integration of social desirability in innovation under transparency, democracy and mutual responsiveness principles. In this paper, we critically examine the literature on the CE and RRI in order to find out how the different focus of RRI may provide an innovation governance framework to strengthen the CE framework. There are two main ways in which RRI could further the CE: first, anticipating unexpected consequences, helping to break disciplinary barriers and acknowledging systemic limits that are not currently taken into consideration; and second, the integration of socio-ethical issues in the CE, and addressing the social implications of the CE through stakeholder participation. However, future research should look at remaining blind spots of CE and RRI, such as non-technological innovation, the demand-side of innovation and the development of business models. With that objective, we suggest a research agenda for common development of the frameworks.

Responsible innovation in business: a critical reflection on deliberative engagement as a central governance mechanism
Brand, Teunis ; Blok, Vincent - \ 2019
Journal of Responsible Innovation 6 (2019)1. - ISSN 2329-9460 - p. 4 - 24.
deliberative engagement - inclusive governance - market failures approach - political CSR - Responsible innovation - stakeholder theory

One of the main contentions of the framework for Responsible Innovation (RI) is that social and ethical aspects have to be addressed by deliberative engagement with stakeholders and the wider public throughout the innovation process. The aim of this article is to reflect on the question to what extent is deliberative engagement suitable for conducting RI in business. We discuss several tensions that arise when this framework is applied in the business context. Further, we analyse the place of deliberative engagement in several theories of business ethics. We conclude that there remains a tension between the ideal of RI and the way in which the competitive market operates. Hence, RI scholars should reflect more critically on changes that are required in the market in order to make RI possible, modify the ideal of deliberative engagement for RI in business, or attempt to strike a balance between these two responses.

Can Merging a Capability Approach with Effectual Processes Help Us Define a Permissible Action Range for AI Robotics Entrepreneurship?
Kamishima, Yuko ; Gremmen, Bart ; Akizawa, Hikari - \ 2018
Philosophy of Management 17 (2018)1. - ISSN 1740-3812 - p. 97 - 113.
AI - Capability approach - Effectuation - Entrepreneurship - Responsible innovation - Robotics

In this paper, we first enumerate the problems that humans might face with a new type of technology such as robots with artificial intelligence (AI robots). Robotics entrepreneurs are calling for discussions about goals and values because AI robots, which are potentially more intelligent than humans, can no longer be fully understood and controlled by humans. AI robots could even develop into ethically “bad” agents and become very harmful. We consider these discussions as part of a process of developing responsible innovations in AI robotics in order to prevent catastrophic risks on a global scale. To deal with these issues, we propose the capability-effectual approach, drawing on two bodies of research: the capability approach from ethics, and the effectual process model from entrepreneurship research. The capability approach provides central human capabilities, guiding the effectual process through individual goals and aspirations in the collaborative design process of stakeholders. More precisely, by assuming and understanding correspondences between goals, purposes, desires, and aspirations in the languages of different disciplines, the capability-effectual approach clarifies both how a capability list working globally could affect the aspirations and end-goals of individuals, and how local aspirations and end-goals could either energise or limit effectual processes. Theoretically, the capability-effectual approach links the collaboration of stakeholders and the design process in responsible innovation research. Practically, this approach could potentially contribute to the robust development of AI robots by providing robotics entrepreneurs with a tool for establishing a permissible action range within which to develop AI robotics.

A critical hermeneutic reflection on the paradigm-level assumptions underlying responsible innovation
Timmermans, Job ; Blok, Vincent - \ 2018
Synthese (2018). - ISSN 0039-7857 - 32 p.
Critical hermeneutics - Paradigm level assumptions - Responsible innovation

The current challenges of implementing responsible innovation (RI) can in part be traced back to the (implicit) assumptions behind the ways of thinking that ground the different pre-existing theories and approaches that are shared under the RI-umbrella. Achieving the ideals of RI, therefore not only requires a shift on an operational and systemic level but also at the paradigm-level. In order to develop a deeper understanding of this paradigm shift, this paper analyses the paradigm-level assumptions that are (implicitly) being brought forward by the different conceptualizations of RI. To this purpose it deploys (1) a pragmatic stance on paradigms that allows discerning ontological and axiological elements shared by the RI community and (2) an accompanying critical hermeneutic research approach that enables the profiling of paradigmatic beliefs and assumptions of accounts of RI. The research surfaces the distance of four salient RI accounts from the currently dominant techno-economic innovation paradigm RI seeks to shift. With this, our contribution helps to raise the self-awareness of the RI community about their presuppositions and the paradigm level barriers and enablers to reaching the RI ideal. This insight is needed for a successful transition to responsible research and innovation practices.

Integrating the management of socio-ethical factors into industry innovation : Towards a concept of Open Innovation 2.0
Long, Thomas B. ; Blok, Vincent - \ 2018
International Food and Agribusiness Management Review 21 (2018)4. - ISSN 1096-7508 - p. 463 - 486.
Climate-smart agriculture - Open innovation - Responsible innovation
To create a sustainable future, innovations are needed that integrate socio-ethical issues. Responsible innovation provides a method for managing these issues, and tries to ensure that innovation is conducted for and with society. The application of responsible innovation in industry contexts, where many of these innovations are developed, is limited by challenges related to dominant business logics, stakeholder management problems and resource constraints. Open innovation is an approach more commonly employed within industry contexts, which involves activities that overlap with responsible innovation dimensions and practices. This means that open innovation could represent a way to integrate the management of socio-ethical factors into industry contexts in a less disruptive and costly way. This paper explores the extent to which open innovation and responsible innovation overlap and could be compatible. Both open innovation and responsible innovation are reviewed theoretically before an empirical enquiry is launched through semi-structured interviews (n=11) with entrepreneurs developing innovations in the context of climate-smart agriculture in Europe. We find evidence for compatibility between exploratory open innovation activities and dimensions of responsible innovation. Results indicate that the management of socio-ethical issues through open innovation requires sensitivity to ethical issues and a motivation to include ethical considerations strategically in innovation processes. These findings are incorporated into a provisional extended open innovation model for the management of socio-ethical in industry contexts - an Open Innovation 2.0.
Responsible Research and Innovation in industry-challenges, insights and perspectives
Martinuzzi, André ; Blok, Vincent ; Brem, Alexander ; Stahl, Bernd ; Schönherr, Norma - \ 2018
Sustainability 10 (2018)3. - ISSN 2071-1050
Business ethics - Corporate social responsibility - CSR - Industry - R and D management - Responsible innovation - Responsible research and innovation - RRI - Social innovation - Sustainable innovation
The responsibility of industry towards society and the environment is a much discussed topic, both in academia and in business. Responsible Research and Innovation (RRI) has recently emerged as a new concept with the potential to advance this discourse in light of two major challenges industry is facing today. The first relates to the accelerating race to innovate in order to stay competitive in a rapidly changing world. The second concerns the need to maintain public trust in industry through innovations that generate social value in addition to economic returns. This Special Issue provides empirical and conceptual contributions that explore corporate motivations to adopt RRI, the state of implementation of concrete RRI practices, the role of stakeholders in responsible innovation processes, as well as drivers and barriers to the further diffusion of RRI in industry. Overall, these contributions highlight the relevance of RRI for firms of different sizes and sectors. They also provide insights and suggestions for managers, policymakers and researchers wishing to engage with responsibility in innovation. This editorial summarizes the most pertinent conclusions across the individual articles published in this Special Issue and concludes by outlining some fruitful avenues for future research in this space.
Systemic perspectives on scaling agricultural innovations. A review
Wigboldus, Seerp ; Klerkx, Laurens ; Leeuwis, Cees ; Schut, Marc ; Muilerman, Sander ; Jochemsen, Henk - \ 2016
Agronomy for Sustainable Development 36 (2016). - ISSN 1774-0746
Adoption of innovations - Diffusion of innovations - Innovation systems - Outscaling - Responsible innovation - Sustainability transitions - Systemic analysis - Technology transfer - Upscaling

Agricultural production involves the scaling of agricultural innovations such as disease-resistant and drought-tolerant maize varieties, zero-tillage techniques, permaculture cultivation practices based on perennial crops and automated milking systems. Scaling agricultural innovations should take into account complex interactions between biophysical, social, economic and institutional factors. Actual methods of scaling are rather empirical and based on the premise of ‘find out what works in one place and do more of the same, in another place’. These methods thus do not sufficiently take into account complex realities beyond the concepts of innovation transfer, dissemination, diffusion and adoption. As a consequence, scaling initiatives often do not produce the desired effect. They may produce undesirable effects in the form of negative spill-overs or unanticipated side effects such as environmental degradation, bad labour conditions of farm workers and loss of control of farming communities over access to genetic resources. Therefore, here, we conceptualise scaling processes as an integral part of a systemic approach to innovation, to anticipate on the possible consequences of scaling efforts. We propose a method that connects the heuristic framework of the multi-level perspective on socio-technical transitions (MLP) to a philosophical ‘modal aspects’ framework, with the objective of elucidating the connectedness between technologies, processes and practices. The resultant framework, the PRactice-Oriented Multi-level perspective on Innovation and Scaling (PROMIS), can inform research and policymakers on the complex dynamics involved in scaling. This is illustrated in relation to three cases in which the framework was applied: scaling agro-ecological practices in Nicaragua, farmer field schools on cocoa cultivation in Cameroon and ‘green rubber’ cultivation in Southwest China.

Moral ‘Lock-In’ in Responsible Innovation: The Ethica land Social Aspects of Killing Day-Old Chicks and its Alternatives
Bruijnis, M.R.N. ; Blok, V. ; Stassen, E.N. ; Gremmen, H.G.J. - \ 2015
Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics 28 (2015)5. - ISSN 1187-7863 - p. 939 - 960.
Animal ethics - Ethical matrix - Killing of day-old chicks - Moral “lock-in” - Responsible innovation
The aim of this paper is to provide a conceptual framework that will help in understanding and evaluating, along social and ethical lines, the issue of killing day-old male chicks and two alternative directions of responsible innovations to solve this issue. The following research questions are addressed: Why is the killing of day-old chicks morally problematic? Are the proposed alternatives morally sound? To what extent do the alternatives lead to responsible innovation? The conceptual framework demonstrates clearly that there is a moral “lock-in”, and why the killing of day-old chicks is indeed an issue. Furthermore, it is shown that both alternative directions address some important objections with regard to the killing of day-old chicks, but that they also raise new dilemmas. It also becomes clear that the framework enables and secures anticipation, reflection, deliberation with and responsiveness to stakeholders, the four dimensions of responsible innovation, in a structured way.
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