3 Pages Posted: 22 Oct 2011
Date Written: Winter 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.
Keywords: innovation, exaptation, ambiguity
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation
Beunza, Daniel, In Praise of Ambiguity: A Commentary on Exaptation (Winter 2007). European Management Review, Vol. 4, Issue 3, pp. 157-159, 2007. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1947732 or http://dx.doi.org/10.1057/palgrave.emr.1500087
By Jochen Koch
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