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Combining versus transforming knowledge? A comparison of the volume and novelty of new ideas

Hill, S. A. ORCID: 0000-0002-7838-1152 (2014). Combining versus transforming knowledge? A comparison of the volume and novelty of new ideas. Academy of Management Proceedings, 2014(S13733), doi: 10.5465/AMBPP.2014.184


Integrating traditionally disparate technological search and organisational creativity literatures, we hypothesize divergence in the information processing antecedents of the novelty and volume of individuals’ new ideas in corporations. In so doing, we investigate jointly the infrequently united counterparts in information processing: contextual stimuli and knowledge. Furthermore, we unite widely used but seldom combined dimensions of ideas (and innovations), i.e. novelty and volume. We test our propositions via a unique primary dataset. Questionnaire data was collected from 388 employees of three multinational companies, supplemented by in-depth interviews, and validated against supervisory assessments. The findings are supportive of divergent antecedents for the novelty and volume of an individual’s ideas: an individual’s knowledge profile proved more important to the volume of their ideas, while the stimuli to which they were exposed were more critical to the novelty of their ideas. And, importantly, countering the assumption of technological search theory of a single ‘recombinant search’ process underlying innovation, distinctive knowledge processes appear to differentiate between more and less novel ideation processes.

Publication Type: Article
Departments: Bayes Business School > Management
Text - Accepted Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial No Derivatives.

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