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Innovators’ Acts of Framing and Audiences’ Structural Characteristics in Novelty Recognition

Ferriani, S. ORCID: 0000-0001-9669-3486, Cattani, G. & Falchetti, D. (2020). Innovators’ Acts of Framing and Audiences’ Structural Characteristics in Novelty Recognition. In: Strandgaard Pedersen, J., Slavich, B. & Khaire, M. (Eds.), Technology and Creativity. (pp. 13-36). Cham: Palgrave Macmillan. doi: 10.1007/978-3-030-17566-5_2


We integrate a rhetorical with an audience-mediated perspective on novelty recognition to advance a conceptual framework where recognition of novel ideas is understood as the result of the interplay between an innovator’s acts of framing and audiences’ structural characteristics. Building on storytelling and narrative research, we argue that innovators can overcome the liability of newness of their ideas by framing them so as to shape the evaluation of relevant audiences (e.g., peers, critics, investors or users). We also suggest that non-agentic mechanisms can render a field more or less permeable to the reception of novel ideas. Specifically, we propose that two audience-level characteristics affect novelty evaluation: audience heterogeneity and whether an audience is internal or external to cultural producers’ (including innovators’) professional community. Studying innovators’ acts of framing and marrying them with audience-level characteristics affords a window into a more nuanced understanding of how novel ideas are recognized and eventually accepted in cultural fields, thus offering several contributions to research on innovation and entrepreneurship and, more generally, social evaluation.

Publication Type: Book Section
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
H Social Sciences > HB Economic Theory
Departments: Bayes Business School > Management
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