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Keywords:

  • openness;
  • innovative search;
  • search strategies;
  • innovation;
  • innovative performance

Abstract

A central part of the innovation process concerns the way firms go about organizing search for new ideas that have commercial potential. New models of innovation have suggested that many innovative firms have changed the way they search for new ideas, adopting open search strategies that involve the use of a wide range of external actors and sources to help them achieve and sustain innovation. Using a large-scale sample of industrial firms, this paper links search strategy to innovative performance, finding that searching widely and deeply is curvilinearly (taking an inverted U-shape) related to performance. Copyright © 2005 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.