Session Details: Session 1015

Knowledge Innovation: Creating New Knowledge and Capabilities

Track I

Date: Wednesday, October 15, 2008


Time: 11:30 – 12:45


Room: Salon 16

Session Chair:
Amit Jain, National University of Singapore

Title: Categorization and Memory: The Evolvability to New Prototypical Configurations of Knowledge


  • Amit Jain, National University of Singapore
  • Bruce Kogut, Columbia University

Abstract: What mechanisms enable agents to break the bonds of history and come up with new prototypical combinations of knowledge and innovation? A prevailing evolutionary view of adaptation is that the process of knowledge creation and innovative discovery proceeds incrementally by small steps that either improve or worsen fit to the environment. Studies in this line of research often show search to be prone to competency traps from which the searching agent is unable to exit. We posit that it is not always feasible to categorize search choices as performance enhancing, or performance decreasing, in particular when choices are similar, or when evaluation is difficult. This leads to neutrality, or indifference between choices. We show that neutrality extends search and leads to the discovery of new prototypical categories of knowledge, and radical innovations.

Title: R&D Productivity and Decision-Making Approaches: Comparing Small versus Large Organizations


  • Ester Martínez-Ros, University Carlos III-Madrid
  • José Lejarraga, IE Business School

Abstract: This study explores how small firms approach R&D decisions and how different decision-styles affect R&D productivity. In particular, it addresses how small firms differ from large, complex organizations in their reliance on analytical information tools for decision-making during the introduction of product innovations. The study uses dual-process theory to compare two well-defined styles of making strategic decisions: the analytical and the intuitive style. Hypotheses are derived from the framework and are tested using a sample of Spanish firms for the period 1995 to 2002. Findings suggest that small firms are less analytically oriented than large ones, and firms basing their decisions on analytical information have a lower R&D productivity than those disregarding this type of information.

Title: Training, Knowledge Dissemination and Innovation: Evidence from Germany


  • Manuela Thiele, European Business School-EBS
  • Ansgar Richter, University of Surrey

Abstract: According to the knowledge-based view (KBV) of the firm, a company’s competitive position rests on its ability to integrate, disseminate and combine knowledge from external and internal sources in order to generate unique, inimitable assets. In this paper, we investigate whether training helps companies to develop and distribute knowledge and thereby fosters innovation. Using a large panel data set from Germany, we analyze the effects of both training variety and training methods on innovation. We find a highly significant effect of training variety. The effects of particular training methods depend on firm size and sector affiliation. In line with the KBV, we conclude that training helps increase the stock of knowledge in a company which acts as an important internal resource in innovation.

Title: What I Know versus Whom I Know. Content and Connectivity in Organizational Memory Systems and their Role in Knowledge Creation


  • Amit Jain, National University of Singapore

Abstract: I investigate the proposition that the creation of knowledge and innovations is a function not only of social structure, but also of knowledge stocks residing in different repertoires within an organization’s memory. I propose that the creation of knowledge and innovations in existing areas of activity is facilitated by stocks of knowledge in the concerned domains, and by the centrality of the collaborating group. The interconnectedness of knowledge stocks, however, facilitates the creation of new combinations of knowledge, as do connections to non-connected actors with relevant stocks. Thus, the role of knowledge stocks and connectivity, and the interdependence of the two, differs in the case of path dependent, and path creating knowledge creation efforts. In the two cases, what we know, and whom we know, both influence the creation of knowledge and innovations.

All Sessions in Track I...

Sun: 10:00 – 11:30
Session 1505: Innovation, Learning and Corporate Responsibility
Sun: 15:00 – 16:30
Session 1705: Towards the Micro-Foundations Of Organizational Learning
Mon: 11:15 – 12:30
Session 1022: Using Alliance Networks to Enhance Innovation
Session 1024: Developing New Technologies and Products
Mon: 15:30 – 16:45
Session 1013: Linking Organizational Factors to Innovation Orientation and Outcomes
Session 1023: The Role of Top Management in Learning and Innovation
Mon: 17:00 – 18:15
Session 1016: The Influence of "Outsiders" on Innovation
Tue: 11:15 – 12:30
Session 1017: The Influence of Learning and Absorptive Capacity on Innovation
Session 1021: Influences on Innovation Strategies and Outcomes
Tue: 14:30 – 15:45
Session 1018: Building on the Past: The Effect of Experience and Relatedness
Wed: 10:00 – 11:15
Session 1014: Creating Ambidextrous Organizations
Session 1019: Working with Others: Collaboration and Knowledge Development
Wed: 11:30 – 12:45
Session 1015: Knowledge Innovation: Creating New Knowledge and Capabilities
Session 1020: When Does Geographic Proximity Pay?

Strategic Management Society

Cologne Conference