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Research Seminar with Assistant Professor Rafael Corredoira

October 10, 2014 @ 12:00 am - 1:15 pm

Lost (and Found) in Translation: A Study of Exploration into Unrelated Areas and the Evolution of Semiconductor Knowledge


Exploration has been considered a main driver of technology evolution. In this study, we reveal how the type of novelty introduced by exploration drives its influence on technological evolution. We argue that pioneering the spanning of knowledge bases to solve technological problems increases the influence of the solutions on technological evolution. In addition, we study the of pioneering the coupling of knowledge bases already utilized but never together on invention’s influence. The analysis is based on a sample of semiconductor patents from 1990- 1994. We use Corredoira and Banerjee’s (2014) measure of influence to captures direct and indirect effects of inventions. Results show that recombination’s contents novelty increases the influence of the invention but this effect is not immediate and grows as more generations are developed. In addition, recombination’s linkages novelty is associated to inventions with lower impact and influence. Results suggest the novelty and potential of spanning inventions is originally lost to later be found with the help of successful inventions. Inventions succeeding in the utilization of the spanning invention and its descendants appear to act as translators, guiding inventors to make sense of the new technological area. These results show (a) the importance of spanning exploration of technological networks for economic growth, and (b) the collective cognitive limitations faced by inventors to utilize breakthrough inventions.

Rafael A. Corredoira’s bio in brief

Rafael A. Corredoira is Assistant Professor of Management & Organization at the Robert H. Smith School of Business at the University of Maryland. Corredoira’s research focuses on embedded exploration : how networks that originate from social ties, market dynamics, and institutional arrangements constrain and enable firms’ entrepreneurial search for innovative solutions. His current research examines how the evolution of technological inventions is driven by knowledge recombination characteristics, funding sources, and inventor’s cognitive limitations. It also studies how the embeddedness of wine and autopart firm in networks of market and non-market actors drives upgrading capabilities in developing economies. Corredoira has authored articles published in many leading journals including Strategic Management Journal, Academy of Management Journal, Harvard Business Review, Journal of International Business Studies, and Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment.


Corredoira received his PhD in Strategy and International Management from the Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania. Before embarking on his doctoral studies, he completed an MBA at Drexel University. He has 10 years of business experience at Compañía Bão, the largest and oldest household product firm in Uruguay, where, as CEO and COO, he led the firm in its technological reconversion, organizational restructuring, M&A, and foreign market expansion during the creation of MERCOSUR.


October 10, 2014
12:00 am - 1:15 pm
Event Category:


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Department of Strategic Management and Globalization