Does experience matter? — A study of knowledge processes and uncertainty reduction in solution innovation

Publication year: 2011
Source: Industrial Marketing Management, In Press, Corrected Proof, Available online 12 June 2011

Rebecca, Liu , Susan, Hart

Solution innovation often exposes uncertainties that are addressed by corporate collaboration through networks. This paper examines the link between uncertainty reduction and knowledge processes. It focuses specifically on the role of company experience which some have argued to be a vital form of knowledge accumulation, whereas others assert that it is not always beneficial. Our central finding is that experience enhances knowledge transfer, yet contributes little to knowledge cross-fertilization activities. Knowledge transfer alone does not lead to uncertainty reduction. Drawing upon this we make the case for a more nuanced concept of knowledge cross-fertilization. Managers and innovators are therefore urged…

 Research highlights: ► We examine the link between uncertainty reduction and knowledge processes. ► We focus on the role of company experience. ► Experience contributes little to knowledge cross-fertilization. ► Knowledge transfer alone does not lead to uncertainty reduction. ► Knowledge cross-fertilization, through knowledge transfer, reduces uncertainty.