Publication
Title
The two faces of inventions : the relationship between recombination and impact in pharmaceutical biotechnology
Author
Abstract
Recombination and impact have become well established constructs to understand the origins of inventions and their importance for the development of future inventions. Despite forming these two familiar faces of inventions, their specific relationship has only marginally been subject to inquiry. To address this, this paper studies the relationship between the level of recombination of inventions and their technological impact, along two steps. First, in contrast to the common idea of a linear relationship between recombination and impact we argue that the relationship is in fact a non-linear one. Second, we distinguish between different levels of recombination (low, intermediate, high) and determine their differential impact, thereby establishing which type of recombination leads to the highest level of technological impact. We test our hypotheses on an extensive dataset, comprised of all USPTO granted patents in the biopharmaceutical industry between 1976 and 2006. Our empirical findings indicate strong evidence for a curvilinear relationship between recombination and impact. In addition, we find that an intermediate level of recombination formed by a combination of components from local, adjacent and distant knowledge domains carries the highest level of technological impact of all types of inventions. Finally, we discuss implications for the academic literature and for firms innovation strategies.
Language
English
Source (journal)
Research policy. - Amsterdam, 1971, currens
Publication
Amsterdam : 2016
ISSN
0048-7333 [print]
1873-7625 [online]
Volume/pages
45:5(2016), p. 1061-1074
ISI
000374365600010
Full text (Publisher's DOI)
Full text (open access)
The author-created version that incorporates referee comments and is the accepted for publication version Available from 12.03.2019
UAntwerpen
Faculty/Department
Research group
Publication type
Subject
Affiliation
Publications with a UAntwerp address
External links
Web of Science
Record
Identification
Creation 27.06.2016
Last edited 15.11.2017
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