Peace Piece: On the Machiavellian Moment in Organizational Innovation
Book chapter, 2023

In contrast to accounts that describe innovation as solely a matter of disruption, this chapter explores the role of stabilization in innovation. Starting from a brief review of Machiavelli’s views on innovation, it introduces the work of sociologist David Stark as a contemporary account of how successful organizational innovations are dependent on negotiations, settlements, and resolutions. For Stark, innovation is a play between dissonance and resolution; a clashing of contradictory values, succeeded by a negotiated resolution of such tensions. In reviewing critiques of Stark’s account, the chapter seeks to extend his work by embellishing the musicological connotations of the dynamic between dissonance and resolution. In so doing, the chapter suggests that music may assist in conceptualizing the simultaneous occurrence of dissonance and stability in organizations.


Karl Palmås

Chalmers, Technology Management and Economics, Science, Technology and Society

Stefan Molnar

Chalmers, Technology Management and Economics, Science, Technology and Society

Debating Innovation Perspectives and Paradoxes of an Idealized Concept; Rehn, A., Örtenblad, A. (eds)

978-3-031-16665-5 (ISBN)

Subject Categories

Sociology (excluding Social work, Social Psychology and Social Anthropology)

History of Ideas

Business Administration

Driving Forces

Sustainable development

Innovation and entrepreneurship

Areas of Advance

Building Futures (2010-2018)



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