Innovative Assets And Inter-Asset Linkages—A Resource-Based Approach To Innovation
The paper proposes a framework for analyzing assets and inter-asset linkages associated with technological innovation. The framework is consistent with a Penrosian view of the firm and draws on recent contributions from both the more general resource-based perspective and the innovation and technology perspective of the firm. Three broad categories of firm assets are distinguished: tradeable resources, technical/functional capabilities and managerial competences. Assets for technological innovation are defined as resources, technical capabilities and managerial competences for developing new products and processes. A taxonomy of generic innovative assets is proposed that distinguishes four generic categories of innovative assets: Scientific research assets, process innovative assets, product innovative application assets and aesthetic design assets. Critical inter-asset linkages are analyzed in terms of inter-asset specificity. It is argued that high degrees of inter-asset specificity provide greater scope for innovation and make higher demands on the innovative assets and their coordination than low degrees of inter-asset specificity. It is moreover suggested that complementary assets not only play the role of assuring proper commercialization of given innovations; they may also play a critical role as a 'focusing device' for directing the innovative process. Finally, some implications for strategy in innovative firms are indicated. Thus, the proposed inter-asset framework may help to specify the notion of core competences and provide a more differentiated perspective on innovation strategy and first-mover advantages.
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Volume (Year): 4 (1996)
Issue (Month): 3 ()
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