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Innovation as a community-spanning process: strategies to handle path dependency.

By Bart Van Looy, Koenraad Debackere and René Bouwen

Abstract

In this paper, we further develop and apply the notions of path creation and path dependency during technological innovation processes. The process of technological innovation is portrayed as an activity of spanning boundaries between and across communities of practitioners. Communities of practice are characterised by shared beliefs, evaluation routines and artefacts. These beliefs, routines and artefacts create powerful path-dependencies that inhibit path-breaking innovations. Based on exploratory empirical research, a model on handling path-dependency during the creation of technological innovations is proposed.Processes; Strategy; Evaluation; Innovations; Model;

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