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Does experience matter? : a study of knowledge processes and uncertainty reduction in solution innovation

Liu, Rebecca and Hart, Susan (2011) Does experience matter? : a study of knowledge processes and uncertainty reduction in solution innovation. Industrial Marketing Management, 40 (5). 691 - 698.

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Abstract

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 to look more closely at the question of experience if they are to harvest full value from network collaboration.