A template for invention: renewing and recycling knowledge components
Old technologies as templates for new inventions
Conference Proceeding Article
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.
Invention, organizational learning, technology
Strategic Management Policy | Technology and Innovation
Strategy and Organisation
Academy of Management Proceedings: 74th AOM 2014, August 1-4
Academy of Management
City or Country
SCHILLEBEECKX, Simon J.D.; GEORGE, Gerard; and GEORGE, Gerard.
A template for invention: renewing and recycling knowledge components. (2014). Academy of Management Proceedings: 74th AOM 2014, August 1-4. 506-511. Research Collection Lee Kong Chian School Of Business.
Available at: http://ink.library.smu.edu.sg/lkcsb_research/5350