Recombination and the Role of Personality, Knowledge Sourcing and Organizational Diversification

Stefan Wagner, Karin Hoisl

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference abstract in proceedingsResearchpeer-review


Inventors recombine existing knowledge elements to identify new technological solutions and novel inventions. We study how inventors’ reliance on different sources of knowledge, their personality traits, and the diversification of the organizational knowledge of their employers jointly determine recombination outcomes. In our theorizing, we distinguish inventors’ overall recombination success from the share of technologically novel recombinations. Our predictions are tested relying on a large-scale survey of 1,327 industrial inventors, enhanced with patent-based measures of recombination outcomes. The results confirm earlier findings that access to a diverse set of knowledge is positively related to both recombination success and the rate of novel recombinations. Further, we are able to show that this clear relation holds only for inventors employed by firms with low knowledge diversification. Finally, personality dominates the effect of inventors’ reliance on different sources of knowledge and is relatively more important.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the Eighty-first Annual Meeting of the Academy of Management
EditorsSonia Taneja
Number of pages1
Place of PublicationBriarcliff Manor, NY
PublisherAcademy of Management
Publication date2021
Publication statusPublished - 2021
EventThe Academy of Management Annual Meeting 2021: Bringing the Manager Back in Management - Online, Virtual, Online
Duration: 29 Jul 20214 Aug 2021
Conference number: 81


ConferenceThe Academy of Management Annual Meeting 2021
CityVirtual, Online
Internet address
SeriesAcademy of Management Proceedings

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