The Principle of Theory

Part of the Contemporary Issues in Technology Education book series (CITE)


This chapter proposes that theory is important for the teaching of design and innovation. The question on what constitutes theory is contentious and widely regarded as difficult to answer. This chapter will address the role of theory in design and innovation studies with the view to providing the groundwork for its application in the teaching of the subject. Initially it will describe what constitutes a theory and what constitutes a good theory. Then it will address the theory of design and innovation in three ways. First, I will argue for the importance of an innovation-based view (IBV) of an organisation. Second, I will draw on the work of Carol Slappendel who contended that design and innovation is an interactive process. Third, I will propose that the complexities of design and innovation require an ecological approach by presenting an ecological systems theory (EST). I will then combine these three aspects into a metatheory.


Theory Resource-based view Knowledge-based view Dynamic capabilities Innovation-based view Ecological systems theory Metatheory 


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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Galway-Mayo Institute of TechnologyGalwayIreland

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