`The book provides a valuable resource for researchers, practitioners and policy-makers.. In particular, it provides a good introduction to broader aspects of the field of innovation for researchers based within the engineering and science traditions' - Journal of Manufacturing Technology Management. `Howells has synthesised a broad range of sources with considerable insight to provide the first sophisticated single volume on innovation that draws on economics, sociology, law and from the history of science and technology. By setting innovation in social and institutional context, he convincingly shows how firms and markets shape and can be shaped by the decisions of managers and entrepreneurs. I will certainly be using this book as a central text for my Masters degree teaching on innovation management, management of technology and related topics' - Jonathan Liebenau, London School of Economics and Columbia University. `A great strength of the book is the extensive and detailed integration of rich case study analyses into the main flow of the argument. Many apparently well known cases are revisited and critically assessed to draw clear and often contrary to popular belief lessons. This is a highly original and commendable feature of this text. It provides an unusually strong integration between theory and examples. And there is no doubt of the relevance of the examples: they are not inserted as an afterthought, but are intrinsically part of the development of the thinking' - Professor James Fleck, Head of Entrepreneurship and Innovation Group, University of Edinburgh Management School. This book analyses a range of social contexts in which human decisions shape technology in the market economy. It comprises a critical review of both a select research literature and in-depth historical studies. Material is drawn from many social science disciplines to inform the reader of the reality of taking decisions on innovation. The chapters cover: - The social context for individual acts of creative insight - The development of the technology-market relationship - The management of R&D and technological standards - Technological competition - The role of institutions of finance in innovation - The reciprocal relationship between intellectual property law and technological innovation - The role of technological skills and regimes of technological education in innovation - An introduction to the role of the state in maintaining the innovative capacity of the private sector.