Organizing technological innovation of medical devices companies : an empirical study of two Midland venture companies
thesisposted on 25.03.2014, 10:19 by Juan Felipe Espinosa Cristia
This thesis presents a qualitative study of the role of devices in the technological innovation phenomena of two venture medical equipment companies located in the Midlands, UK. The inquiry takes an empirical and non-foundational approach based on post-ANT and process philosophy. In particular, the thesis employs the theoretical lenses of both ANT and post-ANT concepts, Deleuze’s and Guattari’s machinic thought and Michel Serres’ parasitic philosophy. The data for this thesis comes from a fieldwork study lasting around one year. The methodology is mainly based on interviews and observations of engineers, technicians and managers working in venture companies. The central argument of this thesis shows that the venture organizing process of technological innovation is the product of discursive and non-discursive elements that act in several forms, keeping the venture company working but crucially reorganizing it. The present thesis offers a conceptualization of the device as a parasite-selector that reorganizes the venture company’s work activities and brings novelty to their operation. Equally, the mediational power of diagrams - which presents constitutional indifference - participates in the definition and production of the engineers’, managers’ and technicians’ professional identities. The thesis shows how the ideas regarding innovation in use at Med Dialysis and Med Diabetes bring forth the necessity of a life that embraces the uncertainty and ambiguity of the market. As a consequence, engineers and technicians build their professional identities by embracing the uncertainty of the venture company. This thesis names this process ‘engineering the engineer’. This is a process that leads to the emergence of a professional identity that this thesis tentatively calls the ‘venture engineer’.