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Title: Learning by doing and the locus of innovative capability in biotechnology research
Authors: Jain, A. 
Keywords: Experience-based learning
Innovative capability
Knowledge management
Learning curves
Organizational learning
Organizational memory
Issue Date: Nov-2013
Citation: Jain, A. (2013-11). Learning by doing and the locus of innovative capability in biotechnology research. Organization Science 24 (6) : 1683-1700. ScholarBank@NUS Repository.
Abstract: Innovative capability, the knowledge a firm uses to innovate, is an input into and an output of the process of innovation. In this paper, I put forward the notion that innovative capability, similar to experience in production, accumulates by learning by doing and that innovation is characterized by a learning curve. Using patent data from 20,886 scientists working in 611 biotechnology firms in the U.S. and Canadian biotechnology industry from 1970 to 2007, I estimate a learning curve in innovation and determine the loci of innovative capability. Although knowledge stocks in the different loci accumulate over time in day-to-day firm activities, empirical results suggest that the individual is the primary repository of innovative capability and that experience working together in teams has a secondary influence on productivity. Contrary to prior learning curve research, accumulated firm experience has no direct effect on productivity. However, when individuals possess relevant domain knowledge and have experience working together, they benefit from knowledge spillovers within the firm. This suggests that knowledge stocks in the different loci are complementary to one another and that the comingling of these disparate bins of knowledge is an important facet of innovative capability. © 2013 INFORMS.
Source Title: Organization Science
ISSN: 10477039
DOI: 10.1287/orsc.2013.0821
Appears in Collections:Staff Publications

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