Entry into Insular Domains: A Longitudinal Study of Knowledge Structuration and Innovation in Biotechnology Firms

27 Pages Posted: 21 Nov 2008

See all articles by Gerard George

Gerard George

Singapore Management University

Reddi Kotha

Singapore Management University - Lee Kong Chian School of Business, Management Department

Yanfeng Zheng

Clemson University

Abstract

We focus on the firm's decision to enter insular technology domains and its effect on the impact that its subsequent innovation has on the field. Insular domains are technical domains that rely heavily on prior innovations within the same domain for subsequent innovations. We show that the returns to entering insular domains vary with the firm's depth and breadth of knowledge. By analysing data from 128 biotechnology firms over a 20-year period, we find that the relationship between depth of technological capabilities and technology impact is nuanced: depth is necessary but not sufficient for high impact innovation. Firms whose knowledge is spread over disparate domains have negative returns from entering insular domains. The implications of these findings for theories of innovation and the discovery of entrepreneurial opportunities are discussed.

Suggested Citation

George, Gerard and Kotha, Reddi and Zheng, Yanfeng, Entry into Insular Domains: A Longitudinal Study of Knowledge Structuration and Innovation in Biotechnology Firms. Journal of Management Studies, Vol. 45, Issue 8, pp. 1448-1474, December 2008. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1303775 or http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-6486.2008.00805.x

Gerard George (Contact Author)

Singapore Management University ( email )

469 Bukit Timah Road
Singapore 912409
Singapore

HOME PAGE: http://www.smu.edu.sg/faculty/profile/118836/Gerry-GEORGE

Reddi Kotha

Singapore Management University - Lee Kong Chian School of Business, Management Department ( email )

469 Bukit Timah Road
Singapore 912409
Singapore

HOME PAGE: http://www.business.smu.edu.sg/Faculty/management/reddikotha.asp

Yanfeng Zheng

Clemson University ( email )

101 Sikes Ave
Clemson, SC 29634
United States

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