Recombinant Uncertainty in Technological Search
While the course of technological change is widely accepted to be highly uncertain and unpredictable, little work has identified or studied the ultimate sources and causes of that uncertainty. This paper proposes that purely technological uncertainty derives from inventors' search processes with unfamiliar components and component combinations. Experimentation with new components and new combinations leads to less useful inventions on average, but it also implies an increase in the variability that can result in both failure and breakthrough. Negative binomial count and dispersion models with patent citation data demonstrate that new combinations are indeed more variable. In contrast to predictions, however, the reuse of components has a nonmonotonic and eventually positive effect on variability.
Volume (Year): 47 (2001)
Issue (Month): 1 (January)
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: |
Web page: http://www.informs.org/Email:
More information through EDIRC
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:inm:ormnsc:v:47:y:2001:i:1:p:117-132. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Mirko Janc)
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.