Pansera, M., & Fressoli, M. (2021). Innovation without growth: Frameworks for understanding technological change in a post-growth era. Organization, 28(3), 380-404.
The feasibility and desirability of endless economic growth is being increasingly questioned by scholars and activists. Whilst envisioning alternative economic models is key to assure the sustainability and wellbeing of present and future generations, few studies have analysed what might be the role of ?innovation? in a post-growth era. Innovating has become an imperative for the survival and expansion of any form of organisation. But this ?innovate or die mania? underpins assumptions ? such as technological determinism and productivism ? that neglect the socially constructed character of technological development, its politics and its capacity to enable (or disable) just and equitable societies. In this paper we posit that untangling innovation from growth is key to imagine a post-growth era. We show how alternative bottom up initiatives, promoted by a variety of different organizational forms, have challenged mainstream ideas about innovation and growth. These experiments provide a glimpse into what ?innovation without growth? could mean in terms of technology and social organization. We conclude by proposing new paths in research aimed at exploring under which conditions post-growth-oriented organizations can flourish and diffuse.