In Praise of Ambiguity: A Commentary on Exaptation
London School of Economics & Political Science (LSE) - Department of Management
European Management Review, Vol. 4, Issue 3, pp. 157-159, 2007
When changes in the context of a technology prompt users to alter the way they employ it, the potential for novelty opens up. This phenomenon, known as ‘exaptation,’ is explored in a simulation by Villani et al. The authors show that exaptation, or innovation through reuse, is more likely to take place when a number of contextual characteristics are present: ambiguity, noise and room for misinterpretation. The results provide strong support to the sociological literature on ambiguity and multivocality. The article also incorporates material artifacts in the methodology of economics.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 3
Keywords: innovation, exaptation, ambiguity
Date posted: October 22, 2011