Objective / Subjective Novelty

The concept of objective novelty claims that the output of a certain economic activity is new in all its elements and did not exist before. In an economic context innovation refers to products and processes that may be introduced to the market or used within an organization. So “new” refers here to first-time-use. The condition of absolute novelty is obviously not only hard to be verified but also problematic because the perception of “what is new” is highly subjective (cp. Hauschildt, 1993, p. 13). When talking about subjective novelty something is considered to be “new” irrespective of the fact that it might be known or already used by others. It is only new to a certain individual, user-group, company, market or consumer. Klein (2002, p. 13 ) concludes that when talking about innovation management a subjective point of view which includes the element of improvement is most suitable for further argumentation since it refers to the involved individuals and organizations.
The focus is on economic use whether internally (within an organization) or externally (on the market) which is the main distinction to invention. An invention becomes an innovation, when successfully entering the market or being used (cp. Hauschildt, 1993, p. 7-23; Hübner 2002, p. 16 et sqq.). Here I will therefore adopt the concept of subjective novelty because it supports the organizational point of view and allows a more holistic approach to innovation.