RESEARCH NOTES AND COMMENTARIES
Chicken, or the egg, or both? The interrelationship between a firm's inventor specialization and scope of technologies
Article first published online: 19 APR 2013
Copyright © 2013 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
Strategic Management Journal
Volume 35, Issue 5, pages 723–738, May 2014
How to Cite
Toh, P. K. (2014), Chicken, or the egg, or both? The interrelationship between a firm's inventor specialization and scope of technologies. Strat. Mgmt. J., 35: 723–738. doi: 10.1002/smj.2128
- Issue published online: 10 APR 2014
- Article first published online: 19 APR 2013
- Accepted manuscript online: 4 APR 2013 11:35AM EST
- Manuscript Accepted: 29 AUG 2012
- Manuscript Revised: 24 AUG 2012
- Manuscript Received: 6 JAN 2010
- technological scope;
Firms with different scope of technologies experience different firm growth. Understanding such heterogeneity requires knowing not only what drives technologies' scope but also why these drivers remain different across firms. I propose inventor specialization as a driver of technologies' scope: firms with more specialized inventors create narrower scope technologies. I also propose that these narrower scope technologies themselves in turn induce these firms' inventors to remain more specialized. I empirically demonstrate this two-way interrelationship in the U.S. communication equipment industry using policy shocks as natural experiments and a new measure of scope. This interrelationship has important implications for why resources and organization appear isomorphic within a firm but heterogeneous across firms. t © 2013 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.