Despite its popularity, underlying conceptual approaches towards 'innovation' and what it empirically refers to remain largely fuzzy, highly context related and subject to normative positions. Therefore a wide range of approaches defining 'innovation' exists.
“the implementation of a new or significantly improved product (good or service), or process, a new marketing method, or a new organisational method in business practices, workplace organisation or external relations” (OECD/Eurostat 2005:46)
“new creation[s] of economic and societal significance, primarily carried out by firms (but not in isolation). They include product innovations as well as process innovations” (BORRAS/EDQUIST 2013:5)
With the aim of establishing a multi-disciplinary meta-definition of (business) innovation, Baregheh et al. (2009) review more than 60 individual definitions used with different disciplines frequently adopting the concept (business and management, economics, organization studies, innovation and entrepreneurship, technology/science/engineering, knowledge management, marketing). Based on procedures related to content-analysis, the authors establish the following 'meta-definition': 'innovation is the multi-stage process whereby organizations transform ideas into new/improved products, services or processes, in order to advance, compete and differentiate themselves successfully in their marketplace' (Baregheh et al. 2009, p.1334)