Knowledge Bridging by Biotechnology Start-ups
32 Pages Posted: 15 Jul 2005
Date Written: June 30, 2005
We empirically investigate a type of technological boundary spanning-oriented search in which firms apply knowledge from one technical domain to innovate in another, a phenomenon we term knowledge bridging. In an analysis of a novel dataset of all the biotechnology firms founded to commercialize recombinant DNA technology, we examine the consequences of knowledge bridging at the patent-firm level of analysis, as well as the determinants of this search behavior at the firm-year level of analysis. The empirical setting allows us to establish a common technological starting point and examine knowledge bridging-oriented technological search behavior over time. At the patent-firm level of analysis, we find that knowledge bridging is significantly associated with measures of patent value. In an analysis of antecedents to knowledge bridging search at the firm-year level of analysis, we find that such search behavior is correlated with firms' initial search direction and receipt of venture capital funding.
Keywords: Knowledge exploration, technological boundary spanning, innovation, entrepreneurship, biotechnology, patents
JEL Classification: O3, M13
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