Title

A template for invention: renewing and recycling knowledge components

Alternative Title

Old technologies as templates for new inventions

Publication Type

Conference Proceeding Article

Publication Date

8-2014

Abstract

We explore how old technologies can be recombined to generate new inventions. We consider four ways by which old technologies can serve as templates: subtraction, reconfiguration, addition, and replacement. Subtraction and reconfiguration do not require changing a prior combination of components, whereas for the latter two, new components are introduced. We test these ideas using patent data from the US semiconductor industry. The study’s findings suggest that re-using previous combinations results in higher impact. However, not all prior technologies are equally useful; inventions that recombine components from recently developed technologies were found to have a higher impact. We also show that these inventions are more valuable when a firm is aware of, and is able to absorb, external knowledge. The implications of these findings for theories of organizational learning and innovation are discussed.

Keywords

Invention, organizational learning, technology

Discipline

Strategic Management Policy | Technology and Innovation

Research Areas

Strategy and Organisation

Publication

Academy of Management Proceedings: 74th AOM 2014, August 1-4

First Page

506

Last Page

511

Identifier

10.5465/AMBPP.2014.228

Publisher

Academy of Management

City or Country

Briarcliff, NY

Additional URL

https://doi.org/10.5465/AMBPP.2014.228

This document is currently not available here.

Share

COinS