Serendipity: why some organizations are luckier than others
AbstractSerendipity refers to the accidental discovery of something valuable. It is sometimes presented as an element of organizational learning but has been the object of scarce research. In this paper, I discuss the notion of serendipity in the organizational context, and elaborate a model of organizational serendipity. Four building blocks are considered: the conditions that facilitate serendipitous discovery, the search for a solution for a given problem, a process of bisociation leading to the combination of previously unrelated skills or information, and the discovery of an unexpected solution to a different problem. I also discuss what organizations can do to improve the chances of serendipity.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Universidade Nova de Lisboa, Faculdade de Economia in its series FEUNL Working Paper Series with number wp472.
Length: 22 pages
Date of creation: 2005
Date of revision:
serendipity; search; bisociation; chance; accidental discoveries; unintentional learning;
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- Cooper, Robert, 1998. "Benchmarking new product performance:: Results of the best practices study," European Management Journal, Elsevier, vol. 16(1), pages 1-17, February.
- Jay B. Barney, 1986. "Strategic Factor Markets: Expectations, Luck, and Business Strategy," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 32(10), pages 1231-1241, October.
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