Innovation through exaptation and its determinants : the role of technological complexity, analogy making & patent scope
Faculty of Applied Economics
Research policy. - Amsterdam, 1971, currens
, p. 1419-1435
University of Antwerp
The concept of exaptation has been recently introduced in innovation studies. Previous empirical studies have only focused on the organization-level conditions of exaptation. This paper fills the gaps by focusing on invention and inventor-level conditions such as technological complexity, inventors analogical ability, and patent scope. To test our hypotheses, we analyse a large sample of U.S. patents obtained from the USPTO and NBER databases. Based on our findings, we discuss a number of implications of exaptation for the management of innovation as well as for policy makers.