Innovation speed is central to competitive advantage. Since innovation is a complex process of bundling technologies and solving problems, enhancing innovation speed could require ambidextrous search strategies. Empirical work on innovation search has identified both tradeoffs and synergies between search-breadth and search-depth on the number of innovations firms introduce, the radicalness of innovations, or on firm-performance at large. The innovation-speed literature has focused on “development factors” enabling firms to accelerate their innovative efforts. Both literatures, however, have not been connected to date and we do not know if breadth and depth allows firms to problem-solve more effectively, thus improving innovation speed. The study suggests that explorative and exploitative search can lead to more efficient problem-solving and speed up the innovation process, providing competitive advantages quite distinct from affecting the rate and magnitude of innovation.
Patel, Pankaj C. and Van der Have, Robert P.
"ENHANCING INNOVATION PERFORMANCE THROUGH EXPLOITING COMPLEMENTARITY IN SEARCH BREADTH AND DEPTH,"
Frontiers of Entrepreneurship Research: Vol. 30
, Article 1.
Available at: http://digitalknowledge.babson.edu/fer/vol30/iss9/1