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Alternative approaches to innovation. The place of knowledge in a social science/ industry cooperation programme

Goulet F., Sauvegrain S.A., Arciniegas L., Bricas N.. 2016. Anthropology of Food, 10 : 15 p..

This article analyses a cooperation program between the social sciences and the industry aiming to develop alternative approaches to design innovation within a food company. We question the ways in which socio-anthropological knowledge about food consumers was produced within the frame of this partnership, and was mobilized within the company to design more accurate innovations, in terms of responsibility and adequacy to the market. From a field study at the interface between action and critical research, we first analyse the origin and issues of the partnership between the company, the social sciences and the kind of knowledge they generate. We then show the inherent difficulties of this cooperation, in terms of contrasted temporality between knowledge production and product design, methodology boundaries, and the importance granted by the company to socio-anthropological knowledge.

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