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Innovation search dynamics in new domains: An exploratory study of academic founders' search for funding in the biotechnology industry

Susan K. Cohen and Natasha V. Munshi

Technological Forecasting and Social Change, 2017, vol. 120, issue C, 130-143

Abstract: Previous studies have emphasized the role of experience in shaping the mental models and theories that guide search, but offered minimal insight into how individuals navigate domains for which their experience provides no problem-relevant schemata. To explore how search unfolds in such new domains (ND), we study first time academic founders' quest for early-stage funding, a critical step in the innovation process. We observe that these founders differentially recombine institutional, intellectual, social, and spatial facets of their OD (academic research) knowledge to search in the ND (funding a nascent business venture). We identify four distinctive recombinative patterns of OD knowledge facets, and propose that these are associated with differences in the founders' orientation to the ND, a reflection of their agenda for, and intellectual and affective engagement with the entrepreneurial endeavor in general and particularly their search for funding. We propose that ND orientation influences how individuals rely upon OD knowledge facets to anchor and filter their ND search. We extend the literature on innovation search dynamics by concurrently addressing how individuals recombine OD knowledge in a ND search and proposing ND orientation as a reason why individuals might do so differentially. (192)

Keywords: Innovation search; New domain; Orientation; Old domain knowledge; Seed funding; Biotechnology ventures (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2017
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