This study builds on the evolutionary and organization literatures to explore how the nature of innovation outcomes was influenced by the innovation’s original idea and the environment in which it was developed. We use data from a survey of inventors on the development processes of three types of innovations: market success innovations, technologically novel innovations, and innovations that are both technologically novel and of market success. Our results suggest that the environment in which the project is developed erodes the effect of the original knowledge sources on the innovation outcome. Specifically, a stronger imprinting effect of knowledge sources is found for independent inventors, while ideas are more likely to be eroded in projects undertaken by inventors at technology leader firms.
Bodas Freitas, I. M., & Lawson, C. (2019). Imprints from idea origin on innovation and the development environment. Industrial and Corporate Change, 28(6), 1533-1553. https://doi.org/10.1093/icc/dtz018