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Christian Stadler

Lecturer in Strategy, School of Management, University of Bath

Innovating Within and Across Technological Generations: Learning and Linking (with Alva Taylor)

There is an overarching focus in the innovation literature on gaining and using knowledge to create breakthrough innovations. In that work, finding novel and differentiated knowledge is critical to developing breakthrough innovations. However, most organizational success and survival is predicated on managing knowledge flows of more subtle innovation paths. We examine one such path, generational innovation - the creation of significant advances in an underlying technology within an established technological regime. We argue that rather than a search for differentiated knowledge, generational innovation hinges on the ability to link existing knowledge that retains value with the new technological knowledge. This linking capability is based on past linking experience, deep existing knowledge expertise, and access to information on the new technology. Our results support our arguments and indicate that this innovation process is different from innovation requirements in more stable technological change periods.