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The effects of economic status and recent experience on innovative behavior under environmental variability: An experimental approach


  • van Rijnsoever, Frank J.
  • Meeus, Marius T.H.
  • Donders, A. Rogier T.


We build and empirically test a model that predicts the display of innovative behavior as a function of environmental change, with recent experience and economic status acting as moderators. We start with the model developed by Slevin (1971), which evolved from the so-called innovation boundary. This is the threshold beyond which the display of innovative behavior becomes attractive. We show how environmental change creates uncertainty about the position of the innovation boundary; however, this uncertainty is reduced by recent experiences. Furthermore, economic status serves as both an enhancer and an inhibitor of innovation. Our model was tested and largely confirmed in two experiments: one conducted in a laboratory setting and one conducted as a discrete choice experiment. Currently experiments are rarely conducted in the field of innovation studies. By presenting this evidence we also hope to encourage more authors to conduct experiments in their work.

Suggested Citation

  • van Rijnsoever, Frank J. & Meeus, Marius T.H. & Donders, A. Rogier T., 2012. "The effects of economic status and recent experience on innovative behavior under environmental variability: An experimental approach," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 41(5), pages 833-847.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:respol:v:41:y:2012:i:5:p:833-847 DOI: 10.1016/j.respol.2012.02.005

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. van Rijnsoever, Frank J. & Hessels, Laurens K. & Vandeberg, Rens L.J., 2008. "A resource-based view on the interactions of university researchers," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 37(8), pages 1255-1266, September.
    2. Massini, Silvia & Lewin, Arie Y. & Greve, Henrich R., 2005. "Innovators and imitators: Organizational reference groups and adoption of organizational routines," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 34(10), pages 1550-1569, December.
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    5. Frank J. van Rijnsoever & Laurens K. Hessels & Rens L.J. Vandeberg, 2008. "A resource-based view on the interactions of university researchers," Innovation Studies Utrecht (ISU) working paper series 08-14, Utrecht University, Department of Innovation Studies, revised Apr 2008.
    6. Betsch, Tilmann & Haberstroh, Susanne & Glockner, Andreas & Haar, Thomas & Fiedler, Klaus, 2001. "The Effects of Routine Strength on Adaptation and Information Search in Recurrent Decision Making," Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Elsevier, vol. 84(1), pages 23-53, January.
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    10. Midgley, David F & Dowling, Grahame R, 1993. " A Longitudinal Study of Product Form Innovation: The Interaction between Predispositions and Social Messages," Journal of Consumer Research, Oxford University Press, vol. 19(4), pages 611-625, March.
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    12. Meeus, Marius T. H. & Oerlemans, Leon A. G., 2000. "Firm behaviour and innovative performance: An empirical exploration of the selection-adaptation debate," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 29(1), pages 41-58, January.
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    15. Kahneman, Daniel & Tversky, Amos, 1979. "Prospect Theory: An Analysis of Decision under Risk," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 47(2), pages 263-291, March.
    16. van Rijnsoever, Frank J. & Oppewal, Harmen, 2012. "Predicting early adoption of successive video player generations," Technological Forecasting and Social Change, Elsevier, vol. 79(3), pages 558-569.
    17. van Rijnsoever, Frank J. & Hessels, Laurens K., 2011. "Factors associated with disciplinary and interdisciplinary research collaboration," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 40(3), pages 463-472, April.
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    Cited by:

    1. Frank Rijnsoever & Leon Welle & Sjoerd Bakker, 2014. "Credibility and legitimacy in policy-driven innovation networks: resource dependencies and expectations in Dutch electric vehicle subsidies," The Journal of Technology Transfer, Springer, vol. 39(4), pages 635-661, August.
    2. van Rijnsoever, Frank J. & van den Berg, Jesse & Koch, Joost & Hekkert, Marko P., 2015. "Smart innovation policy: How network position and project composition affect the diversity of an emerging technology," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 44(5), pages 1094-1107.
    3. A. Alventosa & Y. Gómez & V. Martínez-Molés & J. Vila, 2016. "Location and Innovation Optimism: a Behavioral-Experimental Approach," Journal of the Knowledge Economy, Springer;Portland International Center for Management of Engineering and Technology (PICMET), vol. 7(4), pages 890-904, December.
    4. repec:eee:tefoso:v:120:y:2017:i:c:p:284-297 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. repec:wsi:ijimxx:v:21:y:2017:i:04:n:s1363919617500402 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. van Rijnsoever, Frank J. & van Mossel, Allard & Broecks, Kevin P.F., 2015. "Public acceptance of energy technologies: The effects of labeling, time, and heterogeneity in a discrete choice experiment," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 45(C), pages 817-829.
    7. Brueggemann, Julia & Meub, Lukas, 2015. "Experimental evidence on the effects of innovation contests," Center for European, Governance and Economic Development Research Discussion Papers 251, University of Goettingen, Department of Economics.


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