G.M. Dobrov’s «CAPUTOLOGY» as a new vision of the paradigmal socio-economic
consequences of innovation and technological development of the economy
Article language: Russian
Nauka i naukovedenie 2019(2) 17-30
Euphoria from technological success in the latter half of 20th century used to be associated with
expectations of only positive multiplicative economic effects. But subsequently they had to be
changed by pessimism and disbelief in the economic power of innovations. Now it is obvious that
innovations intended to solve specific technological problems tend to provoke negative social
reactions. It is caused by the fact that the target function of innovation, to increase the labor
productivity, tend to reduce jobs and enhance social tensions; innovation products may behave in
an unpredictable manner at sectoral markets, drastically changing producer-consumer links at
related markets, but not at the market from where an innovative product originates. These
contradictions are quite often related with the behavioral features of innovators. This fact was
revealed in the work of G.M. Dobrov “Caputology, or applied system analysis of failures”, written
in 80s of the past century, but published only in 2004. In it the author raises a set of paradigmal
scientific problems related with socio-economic consequences of innovation and technologydriven economic development, which became particularly pronounced only in 21th century.
This work is valuable because, contrary to modern experts on innovation forecasting, prone to
gloomy expectations, G.M. Dobrov’s discourse about the technological progress is optimistic.
He realized that we were to face tremendous problems related with innovation management and
prevention of numerous conflicts triggered by technological development. This book is filled
with optimism and confidence that given a correct and scientifically grounded system approach,
we will be able to turn failures into success.
The contradictory nature of the impact of innovation activities on economic growth and
economic development in global and local scales is illustrated in the article in the retrospective
(luddite movement in England) and modern context, when advanced technologies create a
phenomenon called technological unemployment. A methodological interpretation of socioeconomic consequences of the innovation technology-driven economic development is given by
use of paradigmal theses of the abovementioned work of G.M. Dobrob.
Keywords: innovations, technological development, system approach, multiplicative effects of innovations, information technologies, technological singularity.