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Exaptation and emerging degeneracy in innovation processes

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  • Giovanni Bonifati

Abstract

In socio-economic innovation processes, exaptations emerge from processes through which an initial attribution of new functionalities to existing artifacts or organizations leads to new artifacts and eventually to new markets. In this paper, I argue that exaptation may generate degeneracy, defined as the property according to which structurally different elements provide overlapping functionalities. I propose a theoretical framework to analyze exaptation--degeneracy processes and use two case studies to show that exaptation can generate new artifacts providing functionalities similar to those provided by existing structurally different ones. This paper is intended to provide a contribution to an exaptation--degeneracy perspective in innovation theory.

Suggested Citation

  • Giovanni Bonifati, 2013. "Exaptation and emerging degeneracy in innovation processes," Economics of Innovation and New Technology, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 22(1), pages 1-21, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:ecinnt:v:22:y:2013:i:1:p:1-21
    DOI: 10.1080/10438599.2012.689674
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Givanni Bonfani & Marco Villani, 2013. "Exaptation in innovation processes: theory and models," Chapters,in: Handbook of Economic Organization, chapter 10 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    2. Pasquale Pavone & Margherita Russo, 2017. "Clusters of specializations in the automotive supply chain in Italy. An empirical analysis using text mining," Center for the Analysis of Public Policies (CAPP) 0157, Universita di Modena e Reggio Emilia, Dipartimento di Economia "Marco Biagi".
    3. Annalisa Caloffi & Federica Rossi & Margherita Russo, 2014. "The roles of different intermediaries in innovation networks: A network-based approach," Department of Economics (DEMB) 0030, University of Modena and Reggio Emilia, Department of Economics "Marco Biagi".
    4. Pasquale Pavone & Margherita Russo, 2017. "Clusters of specializations in the automotive supply chain in Italy. An empirical analysis using text mining," Department of Economics 0116, University of Modena and Reggio E., Faculty of Economics "Marco Biagi".

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