Title: Innovation paths: how the intra-firm evolution of technological innovations affects innovation search and innovation impact

Authors: Kun Liu; Douglas J. Miller

Addresses: Department of Management and Information Systems, School of Business Administration, Wayne State University, Detroit, MI 48202, USA ' Department of Business Administration, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Illinois 61801, USA

Abstract: We explore how the evolution of a firm's technological innovations affects subsequent innovation search and innovation impact. We define the construct of an innovation path - a series of innovations that share fundamental knowledge and inventors. We suggest that the firm's technological innovations can coalesce along innovation paths, and that firms vary in their technological evolution on the two dimensions of innovation path persistence and pervasiveness. We hypothesise that innovation paths highly developed along these two dimensions cause the firm to emphasise search depth over search breadth and negatively affect the impact of a firm's subsequent portfolio of innovations. Empirical results using patent data from a sample of 455 US firms corroborate our theory.

Keywords: innovation search; path dependence; intra-firm evolution; innovation paths; technological innovations; innovation impact; USA; United States.

DOI: 10.1504/IJSCM.2013.057555

International Journal of Strategic Change Management, 2013 Vol.5 No.1, pp.1 - 29

Published online: 22 Sep 2014 *

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