Efficient redundancy? How socio-cognitive structures impact innovation under complex conditions

Juan Candiani, A. Markus

Research output: Contribution to journalMeeting AbstractOther research output


Building on the knowledge-based view of the firm and organizational design perspective we explore how socio-cognitive structures within organizations impact the success of recombinant innovation. We introduce the efficiency- redundancy paradox – knowledge creation requires efficient internal organization, but environmental dynamics require multiple organizational elements capable of performing similar functions. To resolve this paradox we explain how the impact of intraorganizational socio-cognitive redundancy on patent value depends on the technological domain complexity faced by organizations. We propose that by problem-solving in parallel and acting as a fail-safe system, redundant teams of inventors within organizations will generate impactful innovations under high-complexity conditions. Drawing on a sample of 89,083 patents generated by 65 global semiconductor companies, we find support for our predictions. We rely on a novel network- based methodology to capture and combine the collaborative and knowledge networks defined by the interactions among inventors and knowledge elements within organizations. This study sheds new light on how internal organizational design should fit environmental characteristics, with implications for technology strategy, adaptive capability and firm competitiveness.
Original languageEnglish
Article number15858
JournalAcademy of Management Proceedings
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2017


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