Social impacts of the development of science, technology and innovation indicators

Fred Gault

#2011-008

This paper examines the social impacts of the development of science, technology and innovation indicators. The approach deals separately with the development process and with the use of the indicators that result. Underlying the discussion is an assumption that indicators are a technology, a product, which governs behaviour, is modified by users (outside of the producer community), and develops in response to user needs. Science and technology indicators are considered separately from innovation indicators, and the importance of language based on codified and tacit knowledge is emphasized. The knowledge is codified in manuals, and the tacit knowledge is held in overlapping communities of practice that develop the manuals, gather the data, produce the indicators and use them. Finally, there is a discussion of how this process changes and renews itself.

JEL Codes: O33, Z13

Key words: Economic and social impacts, innovation indicators, science and technology indicators, indicators and social constructs

  


UNU-MERIT