Structural Recombination and Innovation: Unlocking Intraorganizational Knowledge Synergy through Structural Change

Karim, Samina and Aseem Kaul. 2015. “Structural recombination and Innovation: Unlocking Intraorganizational Knowledge Synergy through Structural Change.” Organization Science 26(2): 439-455.

37 Pages Posted: 20 Feb 2012 Last revised: 23 Jun 2016

See all articles by Samina Karim

Samina Karim

Northeastern University

Aseem Kaul

University of Minnesota - Minneapolis

Date Written: 2015

Abstract

This paper examines how structural recombination of business units within a firm impacts subsequent firm innovation. We argue that structural recombination is both a means for firms to unlock the potential for intraorganizational knowledge recombination and a source of disruption to the firm’s existing knowledge resources, so that the overall effect of structural recombination on innovation will depend on the balance between these two effects. Structural recombination will have a positive effect on innovation where there are substantial intraorganizational knowledge synergies, where path dependence is low, and where knowledge resources are of high quality, limiting disruption. Results from a 20-year panel of 71 firms operating in the U.S. medical sector confirm these arguments. The study thus provides a contingent view of the effects of structural recombination on firm innovation while highlighting the role of structural recombination in realizing untapped knowledge synergies within the firm.

Keywords: knowledge based view, recombination, innovation, reconfiguration, organization structure

Suggested Citation

Karim, Samina and Kaul, Aseem, Structural Recombination and Innovation: Unlocking Intraorganizational Knowledge Synergy through Structural Change (2015). Karim, Samina and Aseem Kaul. 2015. “Structural recombination and Innovation: Unlocking Intraorganizational Knowledge Synergy through Structural Change.” Organization Science 26(2): 439-455., Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2008237 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2008237

Samina Karim (Contact Author)

Northeastern University ( email )

Boston, MA 02115
United States

HOME PAGE: http://www.damore-mckim.northeastern.edu/faculty/k/karim-samina/

Aseem Kaul

University of Minnesota - Minneapolis ( email )

321, 19th Avenue S
3-412 Carlson School of Management
Minneapolis, MN 55455
United States

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