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Learning Through Inaccurate Replication


  • Helmut M. Dietl

    () (Department of Business Administration (IBW), University of Zurich)

  • Markus Lang

    () (Department of Business Administration (IBW), University of Zurich)

  • Eric Lucas

    () (Department of Business Administration (IBW), University of Zurich)

  • Dirk Martignoni

    () (Department of Business Administration (IBW), University of Zurich)


Replicating a successful template or best practice across time (temporal replication) or across a number of different economic settings (spatial replication) is an important strategy for organizational growth and performance improvement. In this paper, we use an NK landscape model to examine how organizations may innovate and adapt to their environment through inaccurate replication. We identify conditions under which inaccurate replication can result in higher long-run performance than accurate replication. We also uncover the specific mechanisms through which replication errors may affect organizational performance. In that, our study also sheds a new light on how organizations may learn from (replication) errors.

Suggested Citation

  • Helmut M. Dietl & Markus Lang & Eric Lucas & Dirk Martignoni, 2012. "Learning Through Inaccurate Replication," Working Papers 312, University of Zurich, Department of Business Administration (IBW).
  • Handle: RePEc:zrh:wpaper:312

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Replication; Learning; Errors; NK Simulation Model;

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