Radical versus non-radical inventions

Schoenmakers, Wilfred, Duysters, Geert and Vanhaverbeke, Wim (2008). Radical versus non-radical inventions. UNU-MERIT.

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  • Author Schoenmakers, Wilfred
    Duysters, Geert
    Vanhaverbeke, Wim
    Title Radical versus non-radical inventions
    Publication Date 2008
    Publisher UNU-MERIT
    Abstract This paper looks at the special characteristics of radical inventions. It tries to identify those variables that differentiate radical inventions from non-radical inventions. Since radical inventions are very important for the economy as a whole and for the individual firm performances, understanding what makes radical inventions differ from non-radical inventions is very important. For our research we made use of the EPO (European Patent Office) database on patents. We used the number of forward patent citations per patent to identify radical from non-radical inventions. For our analysis we used the backward patent citations per patent. In order to test if the two groups we are considering are truly different and to see on what factors they differ we made use of discriminant function analysis. Some of our main conclusions are that radical inventions are to a higher degree based on existing knowledge than non-radical inventions. Also the combination of emergent and mature knowledge is more important for radical inventions. A further result that follows from our analysis is that radical inventions are induced by the recombination over more knowledge domains as compared to non-radical inventions. Our research hints also on the importance of alliances and an open innovation system for the development of radical inventions.
    Keyword Radical inventions
    Patents
    Organizational learning
    Alliances
    JEL O30
    O31
    O32
    O33
    O34
    D83
    Copyright Holder UNU-MERIT
    Copyright Year 2008
    ISSN 1871-9872
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    Created: Wed, 11 Dec 2013, 16:23:00 JST