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Systematic Search as a Source of Technical Innovation: An Empirical Test
Journal of Engineering and Technology Management (2007)
  • James Fiet, University of Louisville
  • William I. Norton, Georgia Southern University
  • Van G.H. Clouse, University of Louisville
The objective of the study is to increase the probability of identifying venture ideas with commercial potential. To accomplish that objective, we test competing search theories. Historically, the commonly accepted approach to discovery has been alertness, a state of heightened awareness during which one engages in boundaryless search. An emerging approach is constrained, systematic search, which is the application of rigorous search techniques within domains where an entrepreneur is most knowledgeable. We conduct an experiment in which we randomly assign 60 information technology professionals into 2 groups to evaluate these competing search theories. The findings suggest that systematic search is superior to alertness in discovering commercially viable innovations. We also found that systematic search may have pedagogical promise.
  • Technical innovation,
  • Systematic search,
  • Alertness,
  • Discovery,
  • Exploitation
Publication Date
December, 2007
Citation Information
James Fiet, William I. Norton and Van G.H. Clouse. "Systematic Search as a Source of Technical Innovation: An Empirical Test" Journal of Engineering and Technology Management Vol. 24 Iss. 4 (2007) p. 329 - 346 ISSN: 0923-4748
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