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Social network and radical innovation: evidence from the U.S. pharmaceutical and biotechnology industry

Innovation plays an essential role in firms' competitiveness and long-term success. It varies from different types, ranging from run-of-the-mill innovation that brings incremental changes to existing technologies to radical innovation that breaks from existing trajectories.

J. Zhang
24 april 2024
Thesis in Leiden Repository

The aim of this PhD dissertation is to integrate radical innovation and social network literature to broaden theoretical understanding, especially contribute to the literature on social networks, creativity, and innovation, and inform innovation management by unpacking the drivers and effects of radical innovation. Focusing on the long-standing debates in the social network literature regarding which types of networks are more advantageous for innovation, this dissertation starts with investigating how tie strength and structural holes collectively affect innovation radicalness at a location within an innovating firm. Then this dissertation investigates how social structure for producing a creative idea influences the adoption and future use of its innovations and makes a novel contribution by exploring how this effect is contingent on the radical nature of the creative idea. In addition to contributing to this long-standing debate, this dissertation also investigates how radicalness affects the private value for the innovating firm.

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