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Knowledge Networks, Collaboration Networks, and Exploratory Innovation
Academy of Management Journal (2013)
  • Chunlei Wang, San Jose State University
  • Simon Rodan, San Jose State University
  • Mark Fruin, San Jose State University
  • Xiaoyan Xu, San Jose State University
Innovation in firms is doubly embedded: in a social network of collaborations between researchers, and in a knowledge network composed of linkages between knowledge elements. The two networks are decoupled. Their structural features are distinct and influence researchers' exploratory innovation differently. Using the patent data of a leading U.S. microprocessor manufacturer, we constructed the firm's collaboration and knowledge networks, and examined the effects of two structural features in the two networks--structural holes and degree centrality--on researchers' exploratory innovation. Our findings show that a researcher with knowledge elements rich in structural holes in the knowledge network tends to explore fewer new knowledge elements from outside the firm, while structural holes in the collaboration network increase exploratory innovation. The average degree centrality of a researcher's knowledge elements in the knowledge network has an inverted-U-shaped relationship with his or her exploratory innovation, while degree centrality in the collaboration network has a negative effect. This study suggests that knowledge and social networks influence where researchers search for discoveries. [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR] . Copyright of Academy of Management Journal is the property of Academy of Management and its content may not be copied or emailed to multiple sites or posted to a listserv without the copyright holder's express written permission. However, users may print, download, or email articles for individual use. This abstract may be abridged. No warranty is given about the accuracy of the copy. Users should refer to the original published version of the material for the full abstract. (Copyright applies to all Abstracts.).
  • knowledge networks,
  • innovation
Publication Date
June, 2013
Publisher Statement
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Citation Information
Chunlei Wang, Simon Rodan, Mark Fruin and Xiaoyan Xu. "Knowledge Networks, Collaboration Networks, and Exploratory Innovation" Academy of Management Journal Vol. 57 Iss. 2 (2013)
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