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Learning and Innovation in Organizations and Economies$
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Bart Nooteboom

Print publication date: 2001

Print ISBN-13: 9780199241002

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199241002.001.0001

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A Heuristic of Discovery

A Heuristic of Discovery

(p.170) 9 A Heuristic of Discovery
Learning and Innovation in Organizations and Economies

Bart Nooteboom

Oxford University Press

This chapter proposes a heuristic cycle of discovery, which shows a way of resolving the paradox of exploitation and exploration. It is based on an alternation of variety of content and variety of context. It is also accompanied by an alternation of tacit and codified knowledge. The cycle is proposed as an alternative to traditional search models as well as evolutionary models of learning. Rather than a biological metaphor of evolution it employs a situated-action theory of cognition and learning, discussed in Chapter 6, and the notion of the hermeneutic circle, discussed in Chapter 7. The basic idea is that new meanings, ideas, and competencies are generated from practice across a variety of contexts. In order to explore novelty one must exhaust present practice: accumulate incentives for as well as directions of change, experimenting with minor change to build up to major change.

Keywords:   logic, heuristic, innovation, learning, change, novelty

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